Key facts of the case:
Two enterprises, one of them a legal person whose official title identified the names of two individuals, had, on their own application, become beneficiaries of two public funds (the European Agricultural Guarantee fund [EAGF] and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development [ EAFRD]). On that occasion, they were informed that in this context relevant data would be published on a freely consultable website. Nevertheless, the enterprises brought action against this publication, and the administrative court of first instance decided to refer to CJ.
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
Articles 42 (8b) and 44a of … Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 … are invalid insofar as, with regard to natural persons who are beneficiaries of EAGF and EAFRD aid, those provisions impose an obligation to publish personal data relating to each beneficiary without drawing a distinction based on relevant criteria such as periods during which those persons have received such aid, the frequency of such aid or the nature and amount thereof.
The second indent of Article 18 (2) of Directive 95/46/EC … must be interpreted as not placing the personal data protection official under an obligation to keep the register provided for by that provision before an operation for the processing of personal data, such as that resulting from Articles 42a (8b) and 44a of Regulation No 1290/2005 … is carried out.
Article 20 of Directive 95/46/EC must be interpreted as not imposing an obligation on the Member States to make the publication of information resulting from Articles 42a (8b) and 44a of Regulation No 1290/2005 … subject to the prior checks for which that Article 20 provides.