G-21 an anti-reform bloc?

At various times in the history of the CAP, member states have formed informal groupings to address particular issues, e.g., ‘the Aachen Five’ and the agri-monetary system. The G-21, in effect led by France, is a much larger grouping which constitutes a qualified majority in the Council. It become the G-21 rather than the G-20 at a meeting in Vienna when Greece joined. This left only the four leading reform countries (UK, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden) outside the grouping, plus Cyprus and Malta – countries that have small farm sectors and may not have thought it worth the time and effort.

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Agricultural economists declare war on the CAP

I’ve always found the notion of ‘agricultural economists’ a curious one. As if the normal rules of economics don’t apply to agriculture and there’s need for a special discipline of agricultural economics. In universities agricultural economists are often housed in their own special departments, separate from the regular Economics department. I wonder if this alternate universe of agricultural economics might explain the state of agriculture policy, whether in the EU, the US or elsewhere. Anyway, today a group of agricultural economists from 22 EU countries has come out in favour of radical reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

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Co-financing the Common Agricultural Policy

As far as the CAP is concerned, probably the most radical proposal in the leaked draft of the Commission’s forthcoming communication on the future of the EU Budget, is for the introduction of co-financing. The draft suggests that a larger responsibility for CAP spending could be assigned to member states, with direct aids ‘co-financed by national contributions’. This would free up money in the EU budget for other policy areas like energy, foreign policy, economic growth, jobs and climate change.

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First Lisbon Treaty 'Euro-petition' takes aim at livestock subsidies

The Lisbon Treaty has been ratified and among it’s political innovations is a “citizens’ petitions” tool. Article 8B says that

“Not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.”

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First Lisbon Treaty ‘Euro-petition’ takes aim at livestock subsidies

The Lisbon Treaty has been ratified and among it’s political innovations is a “citizens’ petitions” tool. Article 8B says that

“Not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.”

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Dairy sector measures do not set pulses racing

4000 dairy farmers with 900 tractors demonstrated outside an EU agricultural ministers meeting in Luxembourg yesterday calling for more aid for the sector. Inside, ministers faced a Franco-German memorandum backed by 20 member states with a series of demands for market distorting measures. In the event the concessions the Commission made are probably the least they could have got away with in the circumstances. Farmers’ organisation COPA immediately condemned them as insufficient.

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