more transparency in France ?
legitimacy, transparency helps to build better
public policies. Systematic information on the
beneficiaries of the CAP support schemes is needed
for designing within the current Agenda [post
2013 CAP; 2014-2020 European budget review; institutional
development] a CAP reform that will meet social,
territorial and environmental constraints.
(GEM research fellow), Jack Thurston (Farmsubsidy.org
co-founder), Sim Kallas (European Commission
Vice President), Mariann Fischer Boel
(Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural
Development), Brussels, July 17th, 2006
For the French beneficiaries
of European agricultural funds: click here
For a brief history of the legal actions
for getting a transparent and adequate information
on farm subsidies in France, click here
Direct Payment Largest Recipients. La banane
et les millionnaires», Farmsubsidy.org,
May 4, 2010.
Framework applicable to Publication of Direct
Farm Subsidies in France », GEM Policy
Brief, May 2007.
to the European Transparency Initiative
Green Paper », GEM, August 2006.
subventions européennes ont besoin de transparence
! », Telos-EU, 19 May 2006.
victorious », GEM news release, March
In 2005, GEM
completed field inquiries in collaboration with
Confédération Paysanne, second French farmer’s
trade union (19.6% of the January 2007 agricultural
election) in order to estimate the subsidies granted
to some French large farms. Since then, GEM has
started to nurture a vigorous campaign on more
transparency in France. For public debate contributions,
from broad opacity [La
Tribune; November 3, 2005] to higher transparency
Parisien; May 28, 2009], click here.
It has been
a founding member of the Farmsubsidy.org
network which has brought together European journalists,
analysts and campaigners. On December 1, 2005
first few available nominative data was centralized
on the transparency project website. In the United
States, such data were already published on line
thanks to the activities of the Environmental
2005 and November 2006, (i) 37 requests were made
to the French Ministry of Food, Agriculture and
Fisheries and units under its supervision and
(ii) 13 procedures to the French Committee of
Access to Administrative Documents (CADA ) were
launched. Both for legal and political reasons,
nominative and exhaustive divulgation of French
farm subsidy data seemed inevitable while GEM
produced a continuous flow of fresh information
on farm subsidies by releasing tables on major
beneficiaries from direct payments, irrigation
subsidies and export refunds for dairy products.
Transparency Initiative adopted by the European
Commission on November 9, 2005, led to the adoption
of a European Transparency Initiative Green Paper
to which GEM made a written contribution (see
below). On March 21, 2007, the European Commission
published the results of the European Transparency
Initiative consultation. It adopted a communication
which established 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.
On October 22-23,
2007, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of
the EU agreed on a draft Regulation amending the
Regulation on the financing of the CAP. It includes
a compulsory ex-post publication of all recipients
of community funds paid under the CAP. Thus publication
of expenses from the European Agricultural Guarantee
Fund (EAGF in charge of market measures and direct
payments) and the European Agricultural Fund for
Rural Development (EAFRD in charge of rural development
measures) has been made compulsory from October
16, 2007 and July 1, 2007 respectively. Member
States are responsible for such publication.
26, 2007, the Council adopted the Regulation (EC)
1437/2007 amending the Regulation (EC)1290/2005
on the financing of the CAP. Member States have
to ensure the ex-post publication of the EAGF
and EAFRD recipients and the amount received per
beneficiary under each of these Funds. The publication
has to contain at least (i) the amount in direct
payments and other expenditure incurred by the
EAGF from October 16, 2007 onwards, (ii) the total
amount of public founding per beneficiary incurred
by the EAFRD from January 1, 2007 onwards.
On March 18,
2008, the European Commission adopted the Regulation
(EC) 259/2008 laying down rules for the publication
of information on the beneficiaries of farm subsidies.
Data have to be published, on a website set up
by each Member State, by April 30 each year for
the previous financial year. Publication has to
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) public spending from the EAFRD
which includes both the European and national
contribution. The Commission has to set up a website
which includes links to Member States' websites.
30, 2008, a French governmental website released
individual and nominative European amounts of
aggregated rural development measures. On April
30, 2009, individual and nominative European amounts
of market measures and direct payments were also
published on the same French governmental website.
On 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.
During Summer 2011, beneficiaries of CAP measures
for the period of October 16, 2009 - October 15,
2010 have been released.