A new searchable database with payments from the EU’s fund for fisheries subsidies has been published this week.
The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) provides financial support to the EU fisheries sector over the years of 2007–2013. A large share of the payments have now been made searchable by fishsubsidy.org on a new website: fishsubsidy.org/eff/
In a report published together with the launch of the database this week, fishsubsidy.org concludes that “the system for achieving financial transparency in the European Fisheries Fund is a mess.”
Because there is no consistence in how member states publish data, it is difficult to gather reliable and useful information on who gets what, and why, according to the authors of the report.
Despite the difficulties, fishsubsidy.org has collected and compiled what has been published into a new pan-EU database of EFF payments. The database contains information on 47,712 payments worth a total of €1,173,434,495. Spain accounts for some 40 per cent of all payments. The next biggest beneficiary country is Romania, with 7.9 per cent.
In their report, fishsubsidy.org criticises the European Commission for not having collected enough information from member states: “While DG Mare collected detailed information on the end beneficiaries of fisheries funds for the period 1994-2006, from 2007 onwards, it has ceased to do so.”
Fishsubsidy.org ranks countries on a transparency index. Most transparent: Sweden. Least transparent: Those countries that have not published any data, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia.