Jackthurston re publica
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Jackthurston re publica

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Slides for a talk given by Jack Thurston, co-founder of farmsubsidy.org at re:publica 2010 in Berlin. ...

Slides for a talk given by Jack Thurston, co-founder of farmsubsidy.org at re:publica 2010 in Berlin.

Farmsubsidy.org is described by WorldChanging.com as “demonstrating the power of geek activism done right”. It is a website that publishes the fruits of a transparency campaign by journalists and researchers who succeeded in lifting the veil of one of the EU’s greatest state secrets: who gets what from the €60 billion spent each year on farm subsidies. The project has brought together freedom of information experts, investigative journalists, academic researchers, NGO campaigners, data analysts and computer programmers. From the very beginning it has been a truly cross-border adventure and one of the first pan-European experiments in civic hacking. Last year saw the launch of a sister project fishsubsidy.org. Along the way the projects have encountered political, legislative and bureaucratic challenges, not to mention the technical challenges of accessing, compiling an enormous quantity of complex data and then making it ‘come to life’ for website users. Some of the challenges have been solved, others are still being worked on.

Jack explains how the projects came about, what made them work, what are the lessons learned and mistakes made, and what are some of the new frontiers in open government.


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Jackthurston re publica Jackthurston re publica Presentation Transcript

  • Follow The Money: Budget Transparency the EU Way re-publica 16 April 2010 Jack Thurston Co-founder, farmsubsidy.org
  • If citizens knew how the EU spends €55 billion a year on farm subsidies... Would they approve?
  • Our method Freedom of information Good stories + + Beer Investigative Public debate policy reporting
  • 6 | | BUSINESS Business & Media | 21.05.06 CASH COWS WHAT IT COSTS THE TAXPAYER TO DESTABILISE DAIRY MARKETS British export subsidies, by Export subsidy granted, by company, 2004 and 2005 destination country, 2004 and 2005 Fayrefield Foods* £22,149,818 Philpot Dairy Products £21,957,002 SAUDI Dale ARABIA Farm* £19,391,504 £2,147,003 INDIA £1,244,914 Nestle UK £7,442,672 JA N APAN UAE BANGLADESH £1,24 273 £ 44,2 ALGERIA £6,016,605 £3,479,499 £9,413,948 TMC Dairies EGYP YPT (NI) £6,421,069 MEXICO £3,03 340 ,031,340 £7,714,200 PH IPPINE PHILIP NES JAMAICA JA AICA £1,7 ,901 ,708,9 £2,296,9 7 £2 296,987 OMA OMAN Hoogwegt £4,660,97 ,660,973 International £6,016,872 SUDAN THAILA D HAILAND IVORY COAST IVO £3,906,970 £6 06,805 £6,706,80 VENEZUELA £5,722,515 722,515 Lakeland Dairies £2,274,752 (NI) £4,863,754 NIGERIA £11,782,308 IND INDONESIA ESIA £2,94 8 £2,947,118 Eilers & Wheeler Sales £4,009,257 Meadow Foods £3,335,750 KEY F Uhrenholt Dairy £3,084,188 *includes subsidiaries £1 to £4m £4 to £7m £7m+ £0m 5 10 15 20 GRAPHIC: CATH LEVETT PHOTOGRAPH: ALAMY SOURCE: FARMSUBSIDY.COM Who’s creaming off EU subsidies? Exports of cheap European dairy products are crushing the livelihoods of developing world farmers, writes Heather Stewart ritish-based exporters, including known as the EU ‘butter mountain’ cow is one of the most reliable ways of on behalf of the EU, said Britain would Nestle and Dairy Crest, have (‘wine lakes’ were another manifestation Peter Mandelson lifting yourself out of poverty,’ says like to see them abolished. claimed £126m of taxpayers’ of the same problem). But after a barrage agreed to Europe Thurston, who is trying to compile a ‘We would prefer that export refunds
  • EU Budget, 2007-2013 Admin Jobs, growth, 6% security, justice, foreign policy, overseas aid, 43% Farm subsidies climate, energy, 51% environment, R&D, science & innovation...
  • Photo: NASA
  • Photo: Laura Leon / IHT
  •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
  • Top 18% of recipients get 85% of the money
  • “In conclusion, the current system fails to deliver value for Through taxpayers’ money” the green smokescreen BirdLife International, November 2009 How is CAP cross compliance delivering for biodiversity?
  • Behind the headlines
  • European Transparency Initiative
  • That’s 27 websites to screen scrape! (even though the European Commission possesses all the data itself)
  • Governments
  • ✔ Name ✔Municipality ✔ Amount
  • ✘ Business ID ✘ Geodata ✘ Schemes
  • A few lessons learned
  • Thanks for listening! Jack Thurston Co-founder, farmsubsidy.org jack@farmsubsidy.org