Recent trends in EU WTO domestic support notifications

The EU submitted its latest domestic support notification to the WTO for the 2015/16 marketing year on 23 August last. This notification is interesting because it covers the first full year of operation of the new CAP in 2015, as the new direct payments architecture was first implemented in that year. This post examines the trends in domestic support in this and recent notifications, and speculates on how the figures might be affected by the Commission’s legislative proposals for the CAP announced on 1 June last.

Trend in overall domestic support

The broad trends in domestic support provided to EU agriculture according to the WTO classification is shown in the Figure below.

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Doha round agreement would leave EU farm subsidies untouched

According to the EU’s recent notification of farm subsidies to the WTO for the marketing year 2007/08, the EU’s trade distorting farm subsidies fell to a record low of 12.3 billion euros.

As the ICTSD reports,

“For the first time ever, the recent figures would put the EU’s overall trade-distorting support below the proposed new ceiling of 22 billion euros that would be established by a Doha Round accord under the terms currently being considered at the WTO. The Doha deal would create a new subsidy cap that limits the total amount of amber, blue and de minimis support that countries are allowed to provide.”

In other words, on the basis of the notification for 2007/08 (the most up to date that the EU has made), a Doha deal would not require the EU to change any of its farm subsidy policies.

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CAP support levels reach new high

CAP subsidies as reported to the WTO reached a ten-year high of over €90 billion in the 2006/07 marketing year, but conveniently most of them have been parked in the allegedly non trade distorting green box, something that has provoked disquiet in Geneva. The EU notified €90.7 billion of support to the global trade body for 2006/2007 – up from €75.6 billion in 2002, when support was at its lowest in the last fifteen years.

More from ICTSD.

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