Where does the data come from?
The competent authorities of the EU member states have to publish the recipients and amounts of subsidy payments. Stefan Wehrmeyer has collected and collated this data over the last ten years and processed it in cooperation with Arena for Journalism in Europe and data journalist Simon Wörpel.
However, the idea for the project was born much earlier. The two Danish journalists Niels Mulvad and Kjeld Hansen began to request and collect relevant data through the Freedom of Information Act as early as 2003. Only a short time later, their colleague Brigitte Alfter, who now heads Arena for Journalism in Europe, also got involved, and in 2005 Nils Mulvad and Jack Thurston from the UK founded the Farmsubsidy.org network with the aim of documenting subsidies. The first major wave of media reports emerged in 2004-2010, and journalists from all over Europe still gather for the annual Dataharvest research conference - originally the meeting place of the Farmsubsidy network.
Why are some names in the publication anonymised and not accessible to all?
Unfortunately, the German Agricultural and Fisheries Fund Information Act puts a spanner in the works. We are only allowed to show the names of subsidy recipients from the past two years, after that we have to depublish the information.
Scientists and journalists who would like to use the complete data can contact us: email@example.com
What did we do with the data?
In cooperation with WDR, NDR, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Correctiv, Der Standard, IrpiMedia, Reporter.lu, Reporters United, Expresso, Follow The Money and Gazeta Wyborcza, FragDenStaat analysed the data and published it jointly on 1 December 2022 at 18:00.
You can find a list of published stories here.
Why do numbers differ in publications and this website?
In several cases we have discovered discrepancies, inaccuracies and straightforward mistakes in the data published or released to us and wherever possible we have queried this with the relevant government agencies. Ultimately, the data available on this site is only as good as the data we have received from the governments. We do not change the data we have received from governments so if you think you have identified an error in the data you should notify the relevant government agency and, if possible, let us know too.
Please note that our numbers only summarise the contents of our database and are not official statistics. Plus, due to legal reasons, not all data is public on this platform.
Because of this limitations and different levels of data quality, official numbers published by governments or in media stories might (slightly) differ from what you find on this website and are most likely a bit higher.
It's general a good idea to consider our numbers and aggregations as minimum values.
Why is there data from some years and not others?
Prior to 2008, the decision to release data was taken at the level of member states (or regions) and many refused to release any data at all. Many countries only began publishing data in 2008. The furthest we go back is 2000, but for most countries nowhere near all years are covered.
Why do some recipients appear in the data multiple times?
Most recipients receive money every year, and some companies receive very large number of payments each year. We do our best to identify identical recipients within the data but this is very difficult without unique ID codes. Unlike the US and Mexican governments, the governments of the EU do not publish unique recipient ID codes that would allow us to track the same recipient over different years and different data sets.
Our current approach uses normalized values for names and addresses to deduplicate recipients and tends to be conservative, meaning we are probably missing a lot deduplication candidates but try to avoid false positives.