Tuesday

23rd Jan 2018

Luxembourg: least transparent EU country on farm subsidies

  • Luxembourg is the least transparent member state when it comes to disclosing EU farm subsidies. (Photo: European Commission)

Journalists and activists at the farmsubsidy.org group have ranked Luxembourg as the least transparent member state when it comes to disclosing beneficiaries of EU farm aid.

Last year, the EU forked out around €55 billion of farm subsidies from the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). The money is supposed to help shape rural development and provide the EU with food security.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Member states are supposed to publish details by 30 April of each year on who receives what and how much.

But almost two weeks past deadline and Luxembourg, according to farmsubsidy.org, have yet to publish any details.

The country received €49 million in EU farm subsidies or approximately €24,693 per farm in 2008.

It also ranked 26th in the group's transparency index in 2011 for money handed out in 2010. It now ranks 28, just below Greece and Cyprus.

Luxembourg's agriculture ministry declined to comment on the findings.

The rankings are based on weighted averages on a number of criteria. These include the number of years for which data has been released, the amount of detail in the data, and the format of disclosure.

Some countries may include data in PDF format which is difficult and time-consuming to crunch. Other countries such as Denmark and Sweden release comprehensive data that is easier to assess. Both top the group's list as the most transparent.

Meanwhile, a Court of Justice case ruled in November 2010 that publishing the names of individual farmers or other individuals who receive the money is now a violation of privacy rights.

"Member states and the EU are using the Court of Justice ruling to put farm subsidy data into the dark," farmsubsidy.org's Nils Mulvad told EUobserver in Copenhagen.

Member states this year have published only nine percent of the total recipients they disclosed in comparison to 2009, says Mulvad. Some 41 percent of the total amount, or €22.7 billion dispersed in 2011, has so far been revealed.

The European Commission, for its part, argues it has little say in the quality of the data or how and when member states reveal the beneficiaries.

"It is up to member states themselves to publish who gets what from CAP," said Roger Waite, spokesperson for EU agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos.

The only criteria the commission imposes is that member states must create an online searchable database. Users of the databases must also be able to break down the information according to direct payments, other market measures such as export reforms and rural development. The databases also need to provide the sum total of all three pay-out farm subsidiary categories.

But obtaining and sorting the information is proving more difficult than previously.

Italy introduced changes to its online database that makes search queries almost impossible.

Farmsubsidy.org's Mulvad also pointed out that France's database is corrupted by incorrect data. "They included zip codes in the database but these are not always correct," he said. "We have to enter the incorrect zip codes to get the correct data," he added.

Talks collapse on access to EU documents

The EU Council's former top lawyer explains why legal advice should be kept secret, as talks collapse on new freedom of information rules.

German coalition deal aims for 'Macron-lite' EU renewal

Merkel and Schulz clear the first hurdle of coalition talks, but the SPD's full membership backing is still needed. The likely coalition parties express support for Macron's eurozone reform ideas, but remain cautious.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Greece and creditors prepare bailout exit
  2. EU stands by Palestine on Jerusalem
  3. MEPs may bar killer robots and drones from EU research cash
  4. Europe's social democrats are having a hard time
  5. How Oettinger's CO2 permit sale could fill Brexit blackhole
  6. New Polish foreign minister tries to charm EU commission
  7. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on agenda This WEEK
  8. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive