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Ombudsman asks Commission how it is ensuring transparency in relation to farming policy

The Ombudsman has written to the Commission to ask how it is ensuring transparency and balanced representation of interests in relation to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The information request follows the approval of the new CAP in November 2021, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of farming. The Ombudsman noted that the public needs to be reassured that upcoming decisions related to climate action and environmental protection are not unduly influenced by special interests.

The coming months will see the new CAP translated into concrete measures decided at EU level and implemented by national authorities. In light of this, the Ombudsman has asked the Commission how it intends to follow up on its commitment - made in an earlier inquiry - to guarantee that non-economic interests are adequately represented in its stakeholder forums (Civil Dialogue Groups).

The Ombudsman also asked whether the Commission will monitor the accuracy of the information it receives from Member States about the recipients of CAP funds and what transparency measures it will take concerning its exchanges with Member States on how they plan to reach CAP objectives, including green goals.

The information request is part of an overall focus by the Ombudsman on how the EU administration interacts with lobbyists and stakeholders, which has seen an inquiry into the transparency of expert groups, proposals to improve the transparency register, and a 'dos and don’ts' list for EU staff.