Who is getting what from Europe’s €55 billion Common Agricultural Policy? How much? Banks, big agri-food business and charities are among the operations getting the most. That is according to listings by number one beneficiary France. It places a poultry producer in first place, then sugar, then wine.
Ahead of an April 30 deadline given by the European Commission, only a handful of countries had furnished detailed information. Germany requested that the principle of budget transparency be suspended. Berlin did not want to publish figures, until a court ruling clarifies whether this data is in the private sphere. Critics said the German government agreed to new EU rules on budget transparency in 2006. UK-based non-profit organisation Farmsubsidy.org originally proposed that the Commission publish the information in a centralised site online, instead of it being spread over 27 government websites. Farmsubsidy says files released by the UK place food and industrial ingredients manufacturer Tate & Lyle at the top of its ‘total payments to date’ list. Average farm incomes in the EU are just 60 percent of those in non-agricultural sectors. But they are growing thanks to EU aid, which comes from Europe’s taxpayers.