A harmonized and spatially explicit dataset from 16 million payments from the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy for 2015

Patterns (N Y). 2021 Apr 9;2(4):100236. doi: 10.1016/j.patter.2021.100236.


The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the largest budget item in the European Union, but varied data reporting hampers holistic analysis. Here we have assembled the first dataset to our knowledge to report individual CAP payments by standardized CAP funding measures and geolocation. We created this dataset by translating, geolocating to the county or province (NUTS3) level, and consistently harmonizing payment measures for over 16 million payments from 2015, originally reported by EU member states and compiled by the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany. This dataset and code allow in-depth analysis of over €60 billion in public spending by purpose and location for the first time, which enables both individual payment tracing and analysis by aggregation. These data are representative of the distribution of annual CAP payments from 2014 to 2020 and are of interest to researchers, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, and journalists for evaluating the distribution and impacts of CAP spending.

Keywords: agricultural subsidies; biodiversity; farm payments; greenhouse gas emissions; income inequality; income support; public spending; rural development; sustainable agriculture; transparency.