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Parliamentary questions
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13 November 2019
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Peter Lundgren, Charlie Weimers, Jessica Stegrud
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Clarification regarding public right of access to Commission data on CAP subsidies

The New York Times has published in-depth articles describing cases of scandalous misuse of common agricultural policy (CAP) funds. It alleges that ‘Europe’s farm subsidies are being used to prop up oligarchs, underwrite Mafia-style land grabs and create a modern spin on a corrupt feudal system’, ‘where small farmers live in the shadows of huge, politically powerful interests’ (1) .

According to the New York Times, the Commission refused to provide a copy of, or access to, existing data on the CAP, citing ‘the difficulty of downloading the requested information’.

Articles 15 and 298 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union state respectively that citizens ‘shall have a right of access to documents of the Union institutions’ and that the European administration must be ‘open, efficient and independent’.

Can the Commission explain why, and on what grounds, it rejected the newspaper’s request for access to information that it had previously made available to the World Bank for the purposes of a study?

Does it stand by the comments of Deputy Director-General Rudolf Mögele, who told the New York Times that ‘we have an almost watertight system’ with regard to the CAP?

(1) https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/03/reader-center/eu-farm-subsidy-reporting.html.
Last updated: 28 November 2019Legal notice