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The impacts of the common agricultural policy (CAP) in France

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  1. Introduction
  2. 1962-1992: Productivism
    1. Origins and evolutions of the CAP
  3. Positive economic impacts of the CAP in France from 1962 to 1992
    1. A transfer from agriculture to industry
    2. An improvement of the living condition for the agricultural actives
    3. A positive 'balance des paiements'
  4. Negative economic impacts of the CAP in France from 1962 to 1992
    1. Productivism and stocks
    2. Other negatives impacts: Environment and society
  5. New learning
    1. What is changing in the CAP: A wave of reforms
    2. United States discontent and GATT negotiations
    3. Mac Sharry reform
    4. Others new reforms
  6. Positive economic impacts of the CAP in France since 1992
    1. New CAP, same situation?
    2. Taking into account new factors of development
  7. Negative economic impacts of the CAP in France since 1992
    1. The bad repartitions of the direct subsidies
    2. Environmental and health issues
    3. The discontent of French farmers
  8. References

The CAP is often considered as a debate of the specialists since this is a very complex and technical topic, but nowadays there is a huge public debate on this policy which is one of the most important European policy and also one of the most expensive one. In May 2006 there was the biggest reform of the CAP with the adhesion of ten new countries which means there will be a new evaluation of the agricultural expending. This concept risks in restoring tensions between the Great Britain which wants to reduce its contributions and France which is largely been benefiting from this policy. Indeed, CAP seems to be too costly, it takes 40% of the European budget whereas there is only 2% of GDP and 3% of the active population concerned. The CAP is mainly based on measurement of subsidies in order to modernize agriculture.

[...] The CAP (and the common market) is also a way for France to get more opportunities: there are new possibilities of selling as there is more and more trade in the community of trade is done in the community). Moreover, the community preference illustrated by the target prices, is another protection against the foreign competition but also against the world fluctuation. This is another reason why the trade in the community is quickly developed. The European market is clearly disconnected of the world market, which is a protection for the French trade and French production as the European market is protected from the foreign importations. [...]

[...] Negative economic impacts of the CAP in France since 1992 The bad repartitions of the direct subsidies There are some bad impacts in the new CAP. First, the distribution of the European subsidies is pretty unfair and we have seen some farmer Unions' discontent. In France (and elsewhere in Europe), a minority of farmers (the biggest and the richest) benefits from most of subsidies: in France 60% of the farms benefits from 20% of the direct subsidies. In 2004, the French minister of Agriculture published for the first time the data concerning the main beneficiaries of the CAP subsidies on a total of the 9,5 billions of Euros attributed to France. [...]

[...] 1962: A common agricultural policy was introduced to integrate Agriculture in the modern economy The Rome treaty (25 Mars 1957) gave the CAP a very productivist leaning at the beginning through the article 39 increase agricultural productivity by promoting technical progress and ensuring the optimum use of the factors of production, in particular labor).? Indeed Europe needed to raise the productivity in order guarantee the food supply after the World War II. The goal was to make the community auto sufficient and to modernize agriculture in order to be more competitive. [...]

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