We calculated farm, land, and soil N-budgets for countries in Europe and the EU27 as a whole using the agro-economic model CAPRI. For EU27, N-surplus is 55 kg N ha-1 yr-1 in a soil budget and 65 kg N2O–N ha-1 yr-1 and 67 kg N ha-1 yr-1 in land and farm budgets, respectively. NUE is 31% for the farm budget, 60% for the land budget and 63% for the soil budget. NS values are mainly related to the excretion (farm budget) and application (soil and land budget) of manure per hectare of total agricultural land. On the other hand, NUE is best explained by the specialization of the agricultural system toward animal production (farm NUE) or the share of imported feedstuff (soil NUE). Total N input, intensive farming, and the specialization to animal production are found to be the main drivers for a high NS and low NUE.