Alan Matthews

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Alan Matthews is Professor Emeritus of European Agricultural Policy in the Department of Economics at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. His major research interests are agricultural policy analysis, the impact of international trade on developing countries, and computable general equilibrium analysis of trade and agricultural policy reforms. He has worked as a consultant to the European Parliament, the OECD, the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations and the UN Industrial Development Organisation, and has been a panel member in a number of WTO Dispute Settlement procedures. He is a former President of the European Association of Agricultural Economists but writes here in a personal capacity.

Recent blog posts written by Alan Matthews

The ANC delimitation controversy continues

Most Member States still to complete remapping of ANC areas, but Omnibus Regulation gives them another year. ,

Mr Oettinger’s budget arithmetic

It now looks likely that the Commission MFF proposal in May will shield the CAP budget from further unexpected cuts.

EU farm incomes in 2017

2017 was a record year for EU agricultural income

Rethinking EU budget spending on agriculture in the next MFF

How can the next Multiannual Financial Framework support a more efficient CAP?

Pitfalls on the way to a Brexit transition period

Agreeing on transition arrangements after Brexit could face legal and political difficulties

Decoding the CAP Communication

The CAP Communication repeats some well-worn nostrums that are well past their sell-by date, but it also embraces some forward-looking elements which deserve support.

How Member States are implementing the new CAP

Implementation of direct payments in 2015 shows total failure of degressivity and capping to have any impact

Another look at the possible Brexit implications for the CAP budget

Examining the financial constraints on the size of the CAP budget in the next EU Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF)

Leaked draft of the Commission Communication on Future of the CAP

The good, the bad and the unknown in the leaked draft version of the Commission Communication on the Future of the CAP

The UK must pay for access to the single market

The British Foreign Secretary, with his stance on possible UK budget contributions in return for access to the single market, may yet jeopardise the future relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit..

Macron’s views on the Common Agricultural Policy

President Emmanuel Macron laid out his vision for Europe in a major speech at the Sorbonne yesterday. This speech was billed as an Initiative for Europe and set out the President’s ambitions in a range of areas – defence, counter-intelligence, asylum and migration policy, an external policy focused on Africa and the Mediterranean, a sustainable [...]

The budgetary context for the CAP after 2020

How the EU budgetary context is likely to shape the CAP after 2020

Price transmission in the dairy supply chain

Processors smooth milk prices over the cycle and farmers seem to get a fair market price.

Which is the best risk management tool?

Farmers would prefer a fixed CAP budget to be spent on an income stabilisation tool rather than direct payments.

UK publishes proposals on customs arrangements with the EU

How should the EU respond to the UK’s proposals for customs co-operation after Brexit?

Which EU countries will bear the brunt of a hard Brexit?

Re-introducing tariffs on UK-EU trade would significantly reduce trade in certain sectors including foodstuffs

EU-Brazil WTO proposal on domestic support

The EU-Brazil WTO proposal on domestic support and public stockholding is a significant step.

Merkel’s stance on agricultural policy

CDU/CSU manifesto for German election in September lays out some objectives for the future CAP.

Avoiding the ‘cliff edge’: Immediate trade arrangements post-Brexit need to be given higher priority in Article 50 negotiations

The EU needs to give greater priority to immediate post-Brexit trade arrangements in the Article 50 negotiations

EU farm incomes in 2016

2016 was an average year for EU-28 farm income, but individual Member States experienced very different trends

What the UK Conservative Party manifesto says about Brexit

UK Conservative Party manifesto confirms course for a ‘hard’ Brexit

Does capping direct payments make sense?

That 131,000 farms receive one-third of the direct payments budget cannot be justified.

Promoting rural jobs through the CAP

Using agricultural policy to create jobs has a clear opportunity cost which must be factored into decision-making.

CAP – out of the box thinking

RISE Foundation report argues for significant changes in the way the CAP budget is spent.

Does the Basic Payment make farmers lazy?

The Basic Payment may encourage some farmers to adopt an easy life, but it also facilitates efficiency-improving investment

The CAP and agricultural employment

Conflicting evidence whether CAP has helped to retain jobs in agriculture

The viability of EU farms

Around one-third of EU farm holdings are economically vulnerable, indicating potential for significant structural change

AGRIFISH Council meeting underlines pressures to reverse CAP reform

Conclusions from March 2017 AGRIFISH Council meeting indicate support for return to aspects of the old CAP.

COMAGRI rapporteur’s draft amendments to Omnibus Regulation

Some of De Castro’s proposed amendments to the Omnibus Regulation will likely prove controversial.

What can we expect following the CAP public consultation?

The Commission Communication on modernising and simplifying the CAP will likely focus on limited amendments to the current CAP basic acts.

GMO decision-making and the potential impact of Brexit

GM decision-making remains paralysed and Brexit will not help to resolve the deadlock.

Establishing the UK’s non-exempt limit on agricultural support after Brexit

Possible outcomes for UK domestic support commitments in its WTO schedule after Brexit

Brexit and Irish agri-food trade

Unless the UK can be persuaded to stay in the EU customs union, the value of Irish agri-food trade would suffer a swingeing cut.

Why further reform of the CAP is needed now

Why further reform of the CAP is needed now

Designating new Areas with Natural Constraints

The clock is ticking for those Member States/regions which have yet to submit their revised Areas with Natural Constraints delineations.

First COMAGRI discussion on Omnibus Regulation

COMAGRI sets out its views on how it intends to approach the Commission’s proposals on reform of the CAP basic acts.

Triggering the next revisions of the CAP

Revisions to the CAP basic acts in the coming years will likely be incremental, with a major rethink put off to 2022 or 2023.

More on the future of direct payments

How might direct payments be reformed in the next iteration of the CAP?

Bibliography of proposals for CAP post 2020 Feb 2017

Bibliography of documents relating to the CAP post 2020.

The US farm safety net

How the US farm safety net works

The future of direct payments

The future of direct payments will be one of the topics discussed at COMAGRI hearing on CAP post 2020 next week.

Has the starting signal sounded for the next CAP reform?

Commission 2017 Work Programme includes DG AGRI paper on future policy priorities for the CAP

Mitigation potential in EU agriculture

Commission impact assessment of proposed Effort Sharing Regulation may have deliberately down-played scope for agricultural mitigation

Is agriculture off the hook in the EU’s 2030 climate policy?

Impact assessment indicates no additional agricultural mitigation required to achieve EU 2030 climate targets

How external influences have shaped the CAP

EU agricultural policy is increasingly shaped by external forces and objectives, and this will continue to be the case after 2020

Impact of Brexit on the EU budget

Calculations showing the impact of Brexit on the net budget balances of the remaining Member States

Karl Falkenberg’s reflections on the CAP

Senior Commission advisor Karl Falkenberg’s views on what a sustainable CAP would look like.

Focus on the distribution of direct payments

Ranking direct payments by farm income shows that the 750,000 farms with the highest farm incomes receive 55% of all payments

Impact of Brexit on CAP budget net balances for remaining Member States

Germany and the Netherlands will be the main losers if CAP spending is maintained after Brexit.

The voluntary milk supply reduction measure in the July 2016 farm aid package

Evaluating the impact of the voluntary milk supply reduction programme must take into account slippage and the opportunity cost of milk not delivered.