The European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy: A Necessary Reform PDF Print E-mail

The following paper argues for a major reform of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), based on the principles and objectives of the CAP as established by the Stresa conference of 1958 and developed and reaffirmed thereafter in several European Commission documents.  By contrast, the actually existing CAP of today is mainly the result of political manoeuvring—a process to which the bulk of the following paper is dedicated.  In addition to the “Stresa principles,” the CAP must also take account centrally of the environment—considered from the perspectives of biodiversity, the impact of human activities, and the maintenance of the landscape.  Concern for the environment is the main necessary addition to the founding objectives of the CAP, having grown in importance dramatically over the course of the last fifty years to make it one of the crucial concerns for the CAP looking ahead to 2020.  The environmental performance of the CAP should therefore be analyzed on its own terms.  

 The European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy: A Necessary Reform


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