Subsidies paid to farmers and others under the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy amount to approximately €59 billion a year, more than 40% of European Union’s entire annual budget, or around €100 a year for each EU citizen. Farmsubsidy.org helps people find out who gets what, and why. Farmsubsidy.org was founded by EU Transparency, a non-profit organisation in the UK and the Danish International Centre for Analytical Reporting. Using citizens' rights to access government information we try to obtain detailed information to payments and recipients of farm subsidies in every EU member state. We make this data available in a way that is useful to European citizens. The project has brought together journalists, analysts and campaigners in more than ten countries. You can read a short newspaper article about the history of the project and its big successes.
Farmsubsidy.org holds data from all EU member states:
Since 2008 all beneficiaries are made public via the national paying agencies according to EU legislation. In 2010 the European Court of Justice limited the access to information about individual beneficiaries, this limited the transparency to less than half of the beneficiaries. As of 2014 this should be adjusted by adjusted EU transparency legislation.
Data before 2008 were obtained through freedom of information requests on national level.
Read more about the EU’s transparency rules at the European Commission:
Read more about the consequences of the 2010 court decision:
'Fields of Gold' is an 18-minute film that tells the story of the farmsubsidy.org project made in 2009. A shorter version is on the way.
If you want to stay up to date with the work of the farmsubsidy.org network have a look at our feed on Twitter.
EU Transparency and DICAR (Danish International Center for Analytical Reporting), which founded farmsubsidy.org, have received funding for their farm subsidy transparency work from the following sources: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ($516,000 over three years), the Open Society Foundation (€22,800) and the European Social Fund (€60,000). In addition, the various organisations and individuals involved in the project have their own sources of funding.
Journalismfund.eu in 2011 received a larger grant from the Open Society Foundation Media Program, of which Farmsubsidy.org and the Dataharvest.eu conference were integrated parts:
In 2014 the Open Knowledge Foundation obtained a grant of 5000 € from the Renewable Freedom Foundation to carry out data work and update the website.
Born 1955, Nils is a co-founder of farmsubsidy.org and a partner of Kaas and Mulvad, a data consultancy in Denmark. Until December 2006 he was the executive director of the Danish International Center for Analytical Reporting, DICAR. Along with Kjeld Hansen he applied for and obtained the Danish data on beneficiaries of agricultural subsidies, a case that lasted for 16 months ending in May 2004 with the release of the data. Nils is a trainer in investigative journalism, computer-assisted reporting and interview techniques. Nils Mulvad has conducted training in Denmark, UK, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Serbia, Bosnia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Bangladesh. He participates in research on electronic access in Denmark and is co-author to several reports on that issue. Together with Flemming Svith he is author of two Danish textbooks on Computer-Assisted Reporting, “The New House of the Watchdog” published in 1998 and “Watchdog in the Knowledge Society” published in 2002. Nils Mulvad and Brant Houston, executive director of the US-based Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) were responsible for the two first Global Investigative Journalism Conferences in 2001 and 2003 in Copenhagen. In 2002 Nils initiated the Scoop-project to support investigative journalism in South East Europe and the Ukraine and currently is on its board. Since 2001 he has served as a board-member of the Danish Association for Investigative Journalism. He previously worked at the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten. He operates from Aarhus in Denmark. Nils won the European Voice 'Journalist of the Year' award in December 2006.
Based in London, UK, Jack is a co-founder of farmsubsidy.org. He led the campaign for access to farm subsidy data in the UK, first making the case for transparency in farm subsidies in 2002. Since 2005 he has been working on taking the campaign to a pan-European level. He was a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the US from 2005 to 2010. He served a special adviser to Nick Brown, the UK Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Food (1999-2001) and was a Senior Research Associate at the Foreign Policy Centre in London from 2002 to 2005. He writes widely on agriculture, food and trade policy including 'How to Reform the CAP' (FPC, 2002), and 'Free and Fair: Making the Progressive Case for Removing Trade Barriers (FPC, 2004) and 'Why Europe Deserves a Better Farm Policy' (Centre for European Reform, 2005). His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Le Monde, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, European Voice, New Statesman, Prospect and Tribune. He blogs on agriculture policy at capreform.eu. He is also a regular contributor to BBC Radio Four’s ‘Farming Today’. Jack holds a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Oxford University) and a masters in Public Policy Analysis (University of California at Berkeley). You can read Jack's blog here or email him via jack(at)farmsubsidy(dot)org
Born in 1966 in Germany, Brigitte Alfter is the EU-correspondent in Brussels for the Danish daily Information. She has covered EU-matters for a number of years, and also writes about media law for journalist magazines in European countries. She uses freedom of information legislation as a journalistic tool and conducts training on the subject. A board member of the Danish Association for Investigative Journalism since 2002, she was one of the coordinators for the Danish Scoop project to support investigative journalism in South East Europe and the Ukraine. She was nominated for the Danish Cavling award for journalists in 2006 along with farmsubsidy.org colleague Nils Mulvad, and she was awarded the IRE Freedom of Information Award along with farmsubsidy colleagues Nils Mulvad and Jack Thurston. Since 2007 she has been editor of the 'wobsite' on freedom of information in Europe.
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