Will Transparency Transform Europe's Farm Policy?
The Center for Policy Studies hosted a public lecture by Jack Thurston, Farmsubsidy.org, UK.
Subsidies paid under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) amount to more than 40% of the annual budget, approximately €48.5 billion a year or around €100 a year for each EU citizen. Until recently, most countries refused to disclose details of how they allocate farm subsidies. Since 2004, the organization Farmsubsidy.org has been campaigning, with some success, to persuade member states to publicly acknowledge who actually receives these funds. Farmsubsidy.org is a growing collection of journalists, analysts and campaigners from more than ten countries working for freedom of information, transparency and informed debate on the CAP.
Jack Thurston is the co-founder of Farmsubsidy.org. and at the time of this lecture a non-resident Transatlantic Fellow of the German Marshall Fund working on agriculture policy in the EU and US. He has led the campaign for access to farm subsidy data in the UK and works to build a pan-European network of activists and journalists making similar requests. He was formerly a political advisor to the UK Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Food and writes widely on agriculture, food and trade policy with articles appearing in The Guardian, The Observer, European Voice, New Statesman, Prospect and Tribune. He was also a regular contributor to BBC Radio Four’s ‘Farming Today’. Jack Thurston holds a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and a Masters in Public Policy Analysis from the University of California at Berkeley.
The event was followed by a reception.