TAR Lazio’s trio on CAAs. Freelancers readmitted


The Lazio Regional Administrative Court, in a ruling dated 10.6.21, annulled for the third time the AGEA resolution that would have excluded freelancers from access to the SIAN (National Agricultural Information System), which is essential for offering the services of Assistance Centers in Agriculture (CAA). (1)

Justice thus prevails over the abuse put in place by Gabriele Papa Pagliardini – at the time of the facts a business partner of the Coldiretti magic circle (2) – with the disreputable support of the MiPAAF and the ‘Antitrust Authority’ (AGCM). #CleanSpades.

CAA, the resolution Pope Pagliardini – Coldiretti

The AGEA resolution 6.12.20 no. 25 – Approval of the Agreement for the years 2020-2021 between the paying agency Agea and the Agricultural Assistance Centers – had determined that ‘all owner operators qualified to access and operate in the paying agency’s information systems must be employees of the CAA or its contracted companies‘ (art. 4.3).

Italian farmers, as a result, would be forced to turn exclusively to the CAAs of agricultural unions-dominated by Coldiretti-to handle public financing paperwork. Without being able to rely on the approximately 2,500 freelancers specializing in such activities, who would lose their jobs within months. Thus, a monopoly situation was on the horizon, paradoxically endorsed by the Antitrust Authority.

Professionals and farmers vs. AGEA and Coldiretti, 3-0

Freelancers rebelled against the abuse against them and the farmers themselves. They therefore filed a series of appeals, to the Lazio Regional Administrative Court, to have the above AGEA resolution annulled. Which the Regional Administrative Court effectively annulled in three successive rulings, thanks to the initiatives of:

CAA liberi professionisti Srl v. AGEA, MiPAAF and Antitrust, against CAA Coldiretti and Impresa Verde Piemonte Orientale Srl. With ad hoc intervention by RPT (see below) and Cnpapl (National College of Agricultural Surveyors and Graduate Agricultural Surveyors), (3,4)

SAE (European Agricultural Services) Ltd. With the support of RPT, the Technical Professions Network to which the orders of engineers, architects, surveyors, industrial experts, agronomists, agricultural experts, chemists, geologists and food technologists belong, (5)

CANAPA (National Authorized Center for Assistance of Agricultural Producers), the reference for Agrotechnicians and Graduate Agrotechnicians), in the present case. (1)

Justice at Lazio Regional Administrative Court, ruling 10.6.21

Administrative judges have first-and finally-stated the lack of passive legitimacy of the MiPAAF and the Antitrust Authority, which lacked title to intervene in a judgment on a resolution of AGEA. In law, AGEA in any case delegates activities to the CAAs, which must always be in the nature of corporations. ‘The said circumstance already serves to disprove the asserted superiority of an organizational model based on employees over a structure based on collaborations with freelancers’.

With reference to the specific professional skills working within CAAs, the regulations require more stringent requirements for collaborating professionals than for employees.
And in fact, while the former must have a certain educational qualification and have completed a qualifying internship, no minimum professionalism requirements are set for the latter.’ The organizational model imposed by the Gabriele Papa Pagliardini, as a result.,’ does not appear to be congruent with the pursued goal of enabling a process of streamlining CAAs and, through it, AGEA‘.

AGEA, a new pope is needed

President of the National College of Agrotechnicians and Graduate Agrotechnicians Roberto Orlandi – ‘now that the truth has been restored’ – urges some reflections ‘On the role of the current director of AGEA. An entity often a protagonist -as victim- of multimillion-dollar fraud of European contributions’ as well as ‘subject to daily criticism by farmers and its users for inefficiencies and delays (…).’

It is worth mentioning, for example-one among many-that more than 4.5 years after its call (which took place in September 2016), the tender for the management of AGEA’s SIAN is still not fully concluded (and will be, perhaps, in 2022). More than five years to conclude a tender with a service life of five years!

I call on Director Papa Pagliardini to draw the appropriate consequences of the results of his acts by resigning. And where he does not have this institutional sensitivity it should be Minister Stefano Patuanelli, a very worthy person who is far removed from these matters, who should accompany him to the door.’


Gabriele Papa Pagliardini’s greatest shame is having burned 4.168 billion euros meant for Italian farmers and ranchers. His mismanagement of AGEA has burned 40 percent of the resources allocated by FEARS (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) for the 2014-2020 period. As the Court of Auditors has shown in its report 28.1.21. (6)

The accounting judiciary was joined by the administrative judiciary. We now await the civil one, for the damage caused to the public administration. And the criminal one, in view of the unjust damage the director general of AGEA has caused to freelancers in agriculture by a resolution issued in violation of the law.

Stefano Patuanelli at the ford

It is evident how Gabriele Papa Pagliardini did not plot the abuse of office alone. The Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Court of Rome should therefore activate an investigation aimed at identifying co-responsible parties, inside and outside the public administration.

However, Minister Stefano Patuanelli, who took office after the matter under consideration, must decide which side he is on. The ‘circle-jerk’ expressed in his 6.4.21 letter to a senator, which is attached here, is no longer tolerable.

But is it possible that Papa Pagliardini did it all by himself? Who participated in the crime? And has Minister Stefano Patuanelli, who took over the role at a later date, decided which side he is on?

Dario Dongo


(1) TAR Lazio, judgment 10.6.21 no. 6940. https://www.giustizia-amministrativa.it/portale/pages/istituzionale/visualizza

(2) Dario Dongo. AGEA – Coldiretti, European Commission rejects conflict of interest. GIFT(Great Italian Food Trade). 3/24/21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/progresso/agea-coldiretti-la-commissione-europea-boccia-il-conflitto-d-interessi

(3) Dario Dongo. TAR Lazio annuls AGEA-CAA agreement. #CleanSpades. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 12.5.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/tar-lazio-annulla-la-convenzione-agea-caa-vanghepulite

(4) TAR Lazio, judgment 12.5.21 no. 5615. https://www.giustizia-amministrativa.it/portale/pages/istituzionale/visualizza

(5) TAR Lazio, judgment 12.5.21 no. 5683. https://www.giustizia-amministrativa.it/portale/pages/istituzionale/visualizza

(6) Dario Dongo. Report of the Court of Auditors on AGEA directed by Gabriele Papa Pagliardini. #CleanSpades. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 12.3.21, https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/mercati/relazione-della-corte-dei-conti-sull-agea-diretta-da-gabriele-papa-pagliardini-vanghepulite