The CAP has long been a stumbling block among EU members. Last year, Jacques Chirac strongly opposed Tony Blair's proposal about the CAP. Indeed, France is the country which receives more agricultural subsidies while the United Kingdom does not get any concern in the agricultural policies. The Common Agricultural Policy is a typical European item, given that the Rome Treaty, signed in 1957, holds that the European Economic Community should lead common policies concerning agriculture. In the 1960's was created the first organization dealing with agriculture, the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF). Nowadays, agriculture has remained a central topic, giving that the regulation dealing with agriculture stands for half of the European global regulation. First of all, it seems useful to indicate what the CAP is. Article 33 of the European community holds that the CAP aims at boosting the agricultural productivity, providing farmers with an equitable income, ensuring the supply of fresh products to European countries and reasonable prices for consumers. No one can deny that those purpose are all the more well funded as when the Rome Treaty was written, European farmers could not meet the European demand of food. Moreover, helping farmers was necessary because they stood for a large part of the European labor force.
[...] As polls show, it is indispensable for the Common Agricultural Policy to adapt to concerns of European citizens on the environment. The Euro barometer made by the European Opinion research group (spring 2001) clearly shows that the main justification of subsiding agriculture is, owing to the Europeans, food safety: Moreover, the polls put emphasis on the fact that the argument of multifunctionality seems relevant to the European citizens. III) The CAP and the new challenges: Enlargement and World Trade Organization In 2003, the EU commission has launched a reform of the CAP in order to meet the expectations of the WTO and those of countries to reduce CAP expenditures. [...]
[...] The Common Agricultural Policy is trying to adapt to new challenges, such as the protection of the environment, food safety, the enlargement and the complaints of the world Trade Organization. I think that the European Union should continue to implement the CAP. In particular, some matters such as the protection of the environment and food safety are decisive and the citizens are attached to those principles. More reforms have to be implemented in order to be sure that every farmer who benefits from the CAP respect elementary principles, such as a moderate use of fertilizer. [...]
[...] Since the late nineties, the European Agricultural system is subject to harsh criticism by both the International community and a part of its citizens A too expensive policy Many reports and papers have been written concerning the costs of the Common agricultural policy. It is a very sensitive issue, and the CAP expenditures remain a stumbling block among economists. The OECD estimates the expenditures of the CAP at around 100 billions a year, which means that the cost of the CAP for a household of 4 persons is about 940€. [...]
[...] In working out the common agricultural policy and the special methods for its application, account shall be taken of: the particular nature of agricultural activity, which results from the social structure of agriculture and from structural and natural disparities between the various agricultural regions; the need to effect the appropriate adjustments by degrees; the fact that in the Member States agriculture constitutes a sector closely linked with the economy as a whole. In general, the treaties sustain three main principles: A unique agricultural market within the borders of the European Union The communitarian preference, which means that consumers should consume European agricultural products rather than foreign products, if possible European countries surrender sovereignty to the European Union for agricultural matters. [...]
[...] Is the CAP indispensable for the future of Europe? Will EU be able to cope with mounting CAP expenditures while most countries (France and Germany in particular) prove to be reluctant to increase their expenses? One can also wonder if the concept of multifunctionality is relevant, or if it is just a strategy to justify protectionism Plan I. The CAP, a necessity for the European agriculture? A. An economic support for the European farmers 1. Why helping the farmers has been a priority for the Europeans 2. [...]
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