EU to sue Germany over farm subsidy disclosure

17th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

While the EU requires member states to publish details of individual beneficiaries of European farm subsidies, Germany has dragged its feet significantly and the state of Bavaria has still not published details.

Brussels -- The European Commission said on Tuesday it would sue Germany for the failure of Bavarian authorities to publish how much farmers in the state receive in EU handouts, as required by the bloc's rules.

Germany had dragged its feet in respecting an EU regulation requiring all member states to publish details of individual beneficiaries of generous European farm subsidies by late April, doing so only on Tuesday.

However, the southern German state of Bavaria is flouting the regulation and has still not published details.

"Bavaria's decision is incomprehensible and I will now take steps to begin an infringement procedure," EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said in a statement.

"The legal situation is clear. Germany is obliged to publish the details of beneficiaries of the Common Agricultural Policy for the whole country. Every other member state has done so."

German farmers have resisted pressure from Brussels for the data to be released, challenging the regulation in national courts on the grounds that it violates their privacy.

"This is taxpayers' money, so it is very important that people know where it is being spent," Fischer Boel said.

"Transparency should also improve the management of these funds by reinforcing public control of how the money is used."


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