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How the European Commission ensures transparency and balanced interest representation under the Common Agricultural Policy

In the context of reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), concerns have been raised about the influence of certain interest groups and the transparency of how the CAP is implemented. With a view to assessing how the European Commission was planning to address in the implementation of the new CAP rules from 2023 on, the Ombudsman carried out a strategic initiative. In particular, the initiative aimed to assess how the Commission ensures balanced representation of interest representatives involved in the 'Civil Dialogue Groups' and other forums, as well as the transparency of how the CAP is implemented, such as regarding the preparation of national plans and information about beneficiaries of the CAP.

The Ombudsman asked the Commission to reply to a set of questions, which enabled the Ombudsman to get a better insight into how the Commission intends to address these challenges. She closed the initiative making observations on the need to ensure transparency and meaningful and balanced representation of interests, including civil society, in the implementation of the CAP.