Thursday, June 26, 2003
:: EU subsidy reform fudged ::According to this BBC report the EU has agreed some major reforms to agricultural subsidies... although many remain disappointed by how far these reforms go.
Perhaps the most important reforms are the removal of the link from subsidies to production (in many cases) and increases in the funds available for environmentally beneficial measures.
However, countries still have the freedom to carry on subsiding farming if there is a danger of land coming out of production (which is obviously quite a major concession!) and the overall budget of 43 billion euros will remain much the same.
* Abolish most of the subsidies that reward farmers according to how much food they grow
Agriculture subsidy expert Wyn Grant says these reforms will require further analysis, but as an initial assessment that:
* This 'multi-speed' process could well complicate WTO negotiations
Earth-Info.Net particularly notes Wyn's final thoughts...
The old adage that half a loaf is better than none comes to mind. But perhaps it is more like a quarter of a loaf. And like all fudged reforms of the CAP, it will reduce pressure for real reform. Franz Fischler has hailed the agreement as 'the beginnng of a new era' but how far will it meet his aims of simplification, avoiding unwanted production incentives, improving market oriented production and avoiding trade distortions? Much will now depend on what happens in the Doha Round...
Posted 2:15 pm by Matt Prescott