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24 January 2013 18:10:43 |

MEPs reject subsidy transparency proposals

Several MEPs were criticised today in Brussels for rejecting proposals to publish names of all beneficiaries of EU farm subsidies and the amounts they have received.
The transparency proposals were scrapped by three amendments tabled by Italian and German MEPs.
"This is an outrageous move which goes against transparency and fairness" said Luis Capoulas Santos MEP.
"No one can invoke privacy when it is about public money."

"Our Group stands by European farmers and is committed to making sure they have the necessary support to be competitive and create new jobs. However, this must be done with full transparency."

"This vote against transparency is bad for the farmers, bad for EU citizens and bad for EU agriculture as it makes our fight for a consistent and sustainable EU farm budget more difficult."

"Farmers have nothing to hide but we do not want, for example, criminal organisations to benefit from this secrecy and get EU farm subsidies."

"We call on all the EPP and conservative MEPs to act responsibility for their voters and to back our efforts to reintroduce the original proposal on transparency during the plenary vote."

Michal Olejniczak MEP, S&D rapporteur on the transparency rules, said: "I strongly regret that the conservative majority in the Parliament's agriculture committee did not support the proposal to enhance transparency by publishing the names of all CAP beneficiaries."
"This was supposed to be a major point for improving the legitimacy and accountability of CAP spending and would not harm the farmers in any way."

"The EPP and conservatives also voted to drastically reduce the number of environmental requirements needed to get access to subsidies. This means that EU farmers would still be entitled to get EU funds even if they did not comply with EU legislation on biodiversity, water and animal welfare standards and plant disease notification etc.
"The deletion of a number of cross-compliance criteria," added Olejniczak.
"Including those which farmers across Europe have already successfully complied with is hard to explain and would significantly contribute to further biodiversity losses."


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