The Netherlands has become the latest country to increase transparency about how farm subsidies under the EU’s Commond Agricultural Policy are distributed.
The breakdown of who receives the Netherlands’s €236 million in CAP subsidies will be released next month following a request under the Dutch freedom of information law.
According to the International Herald Tribune, the Dutch agriculture minister, Cees Veerman has acknowledged that he receives €190,000 in subsidies for farms he owns in France and the Netherlands.
The Danish and British campaigners drew their inspiration from a similar movement in the United States, which in 2001 showed that celebrities, dead farmers and even a basketball star got farm payments.
They now want to target other countries, principally Germany and France, that so far have not released details of farm payments, partly because of the strength of their lobbying groups.
Nils Mulvad, a journalist who led the Danish campaign in 2004, said: “I think we will soon have Sweden. Some of the information is already out in Estonia and Ireland. There has been some data released in Spain. No one has had the courage to tackle France yet.”
The Danish institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting obtained the figures for that country in 2004, and the subsidy figures for England (but not Wales or Scotland) were released in March following a Freedom of Information Act request.
Update: Meanwhile, new research shows that the Common Agricultural Policy increases the divide between rich and poor farmers.