EU’s agricultural policy faces pressure to change amid budgetary constraints and increasing number of member states
Akihiko Hirasawa, chief researcher at Norinchukin Research Institute Co., said that until now, the European Union had been adjusting its Common Agricultural Policy scheme so that it would be consistent with the global trend to liberalize agricultural trade. But amid staggering negotiations under the World Trade Organization and rising prices of agricultural products in the global market, Hirasawa said the new CAP has undergone reform to focus more on the circumstances within the region, including environment, animal welfare, support for young farmers, fairness, consideration for taxpayers and strengthening negotiating power of farmers against buyers which monopolize the markets for agricultural products.
Hirasawa pointed out that instead, the new CAP lost some of its characateristics as a uniform policy of the European region, giving more discretion to each of the member states. As the number of member states increases to include eastern and central European nations, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the EU to cope with evolving issues within a single framework, he said.
Against the backdrop of severe fiscal and economic conditions, the EU will continue to face pressure to cut budgets, which means its agricultural policy is also standing at a major turning point, Hirasawa stressed.
(Nov. 13, 2013)