provides a brief history of the legal actions
for getting a transparent and adequate information
on farm subsidies in France :
Field inquiries in collaboration with Confédération
paysanne, second French farm trade union (19.6%
of the farmers' January 2007 election) in order
the subsidies granted to French large farms
Letters were sent by GEM to the 30 main Directions
Départementales de l’Agriculture et de la Forêt
(DDAF, Departmental units of the Ministry of Agriculture
and Fishing) requesting:
1) the global amount of subsidies received by
farm for the latest available year, and
2) the “historical references” communicated in
October 2005 by the DDAF to each farm (these references
are the basis for computing the Single Farm Payments).
GEM request specified that data on an anonymous
basis would be accepted.
After having received negative replies from 8
DDAF, GEM launched a procedure to Commission d'accès
aux documents administratifs (CADA
The European Commission adopted the European
The French magazine “Capital” launched a procedure
to CADA in order to obtain the names of the 100
largest beneficiaries of European farm subsidies.
They obtained, in October 2005, a list of the
35 largest beneficiaries of European farm subsidies
paid by ONIC (the French disbursement agency for
crop), and a list of the 10 largest beneficiaries
of European farm subsidies paid by OFIVAL (the
French disbursement agency for livestock). These
amounts were communicated to the magazine on an
anonymous basis by the Ministry of Agriculture
CADA (Council of December 1, 2005) replied to
1) negatively concerning the release of the global
amount received by farm, since a database centralizing
the different sources of the global amount paid
to each farm does not exist,
2) positively concerning the release of data concerning
the estimated historical references, but without
specifying any anonymous basis obligation.
CADA (Council of January 19, 2006) replied positively
to the Capital Magazine request on the disclosure
of the beneficiaries associated to each of the
45 amounts previously communicated by the Ministry
of Agriculture and Fisheries.
GEM required exhaustive and nominative lists of
subsidies by farm, for the last year available
from the four major disbursement agencies: ONIC-ONIOL-FIRS
(main crops) OFIVAL (livestock) ONIVINS (wine)
and ONIFLHOR (vegetables).
GEM published identity of the top 10 French recipients
of direct subsidies for crop and the top 10 French
recipients of direct subsidies for livestock (20
farms having received 8.7 million euros in
Invitation of Patrick Messerlin and Pierre Boulanger
by Member of European Parliament (MEP) Terry Wynn
(Chairman of the Land use and food policy Intergroup
) to an informal hearing by LUFPIG MEPs concerning
the transparency researches and initiatives taken
in France by GEM.
GEM received the exhaustive list of the 54,080
estimated historical references, on an anonymous
basis for 8 “departements” (representing more
than 718 million euros). A meeting with a member
of the Cabinet of the Minister of Agriculture
ended up with the understanding that data for
the whole French territory would follow soon.
As no French disbursement agency answered to the
previous requests, GEM launched a new procedure
The European Commission adopted the Green
Paper on the European Transparency Initiative.
CADA (CADA Council of June 15, 2006) replied negatively
to the GEM's latter request on the basis that
such data do not exist and that the compilation
of such data would require more than a common
Pierre Boulanger and Patrick Messerlin presented
in Brussels the GEM transparency activities in
France at a “Transparency
in the CAP” public Event organized by Farmsubsidy.org.
Some members of the farmsubsidy.org network presented
the initiatives in other European countries (Germany,
Poland, Denmark and current EU position). Siim
Kallas, European Commission Vice-President,
Fischer Boel, Agriculture Commissioner, pledged
their support for more transparency in the CAP
and applauded the work done by the farmsubsidy.org
GEM provided his contribution
to the Green Paper on the European Transparency
GEM required identities of the 104
beneficiaries of export subsidies for dairy
products paid in 2004 by ONILAIT (in November
2005, GEM obtained the exhaustive but anonymous
list of such beneficiaries).
Commission website centralized Member State
websites providing information on beneficiaries
of CAP payments under shared management.
As ONILAIT did not answer to the previous request,
GEM launched a procedure to CADA.
CADA (CADA Council of December 21, 2006) replied
negatively to GEM’s request on the basis that
in spite of the existence of such data, the divulgation
of these information is not consistent with the
respect of industrial and trading secrecy.
Pierre Boulanger presented in Budapest the statement
of transparency in France at a conference
bringing together participants and supporters
of the Farmsubsidy.org network.
The European Commission published
the results of the 'European Transparency
Consultation and adopted a communication which
establishes the follow
up of the process. The European Commission
also adopted a proposal
for the Council amending Regulation on the
Financing of the CAP in order to oblige Member
States to release beneficiaries of EU funds.
and Fisheries Council of the EU agreed on
a draft Regulation amending the current Regulation
on the financing of the CAP. It includes a compulsory
ex-post publication of all recipients of community
funds paid under the CAP. The transparency will
cover expenses from October 16, 2007 for the European
Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF in charge of
market measures and direct payments) and from
July 1, 2007 for the European Agricultural Fund
for Rural Development (EAFRD in charge of rural
development measures). Member States will be responsible
for such publication.
The Council of the EU adopted the
(EC) 1437/2007 amending the Regulation (EC)1290/2005
on the financing of the CAP. The Member States
shall ensure ex-post publication of the EAGF and
EAFRD recipients and the amount received per beneficiary
under each of these Funds. The publication shall
contain at least:
1) for the EAGF, the amount in direct payments
and other expenditure incurred from October 16,
2) for the EAFRD, the total amount of public founding
per beneficiary incurred from January 1, 2007.
The European Commission
adopted the Regulation
(EC) 259/2008 laying down rules for the publication
of information on the beneficiaries from the CAP.
Data shall be published, on a website set up by
each Member State, by April 30 each year for the
previous financial year. Therefore all CAP recipients
during the 2008 financial year shall be disclosed
by April 2009. Publication shall include at least
the name, the municipality and where available
the postal code, the amount of (i) direct payments,
(ii) other payments from the EAGF, and (iii) the
amount of public funding from the EAFRD which
includes both the Community and the national contribution.
The Commission shall set up a website which includes
links to Member States' websites.
governmental website released individual and
nominative European amounts of aggregated development
measures (Second Pillar of the CAP).
governmental website released individual and
nominative European amounts of market measures
and direct payments (First Pillar of the CAP).
November 9, 2010
A judgment of the Court of Justice of the European
Union has declared partially invalid the legal
basis for the publication of information on beneficiaries
of CAP payments under shared management. French
website providing information on beneficiaries
of CAP payments has been suspended.
governmental website released individual and
nominative European amounts of first and second
pillars of the CAP measures.
d'Accès aux Documents Administratifs (CADA)
The Law of
17 July 1978 gives everyone the right of access
to documents that have been in the possession
of public bodies (see www.cada.fr/uk/frame.htm).
It guarantees the right of everyone, without condition
of age or nationality, to access all administrative
documents freely and free of charge. The only
documents which are excluded are those which contain
confidential information, such as national defence
secrecy or information about a person's private
of Access to Administrative Documents (CADA) is
an independent administrative authority in charge
of ensuring the freedom of access to administrative
documents. The CADA is not a jurisdiction (see
1) it give opinions on the communicable character
of administrative documents that it addresses
to the people who seized it and to the administrations
which refused the communication;
2) it cannot be seized to get directly a document;
3) it can intervene only after a previous denial
by the requested administration;
4) it advises administrative bodies on the communicable
character of the documents they hold or on how
to communicate them to the public;
5) it intervenes for all the documents held by
a State service, a local authority, a publicly-owned
establishment or an organization in charge of
the management of a public utility, whether this
organization is public or private;
6) it must be seized before any appeal proceeding
to the administrative court.