North Atlantic Policy: the Agricultural Gap

North Atlantic Policy: the Agricultural Gap

North Atlantic Policy: the Agricultural Gap

North Atlantic Policy: the Agricultural Gap

Excerpt

Since this study was completed, the President of the French Fifth Republic has displaced agriculture as the chief obstacle to progress toward unification of Western Europe and a firmly rooted Atlantic partnership. The displacement is likely to be temporary. French governments come and go: agricultural problems, like France, are eternal -- or so they appear to be. They will almost certainly regain the dubious distinction of being a major stumbling block in the path of Atlantic integration.

This study attempts to analyze why so many difficulties are encountered in the field of agriculture by those attempting to create an Atlantic community. It tries to look a few years into the future to see what might happen if present agricultural policies are continued. Perhaps optimistically, it suggests that "all is not lost" -- that there are some self-correcting forces at work. Governments can adopt policies in support of those forces to strengthen them and to bring their beneficial effects sooner than if left to their own momentum. Governments can, in most countries, take these actions without serious risk to their political necks.

European unity and greater Atlantic integration would be one of the great events in history. To jeopardize it, even to slow its arrival, by disagreement over agricultural policies is an act of political irresponsibility. Each of the countries in the North Atlantic region has its own agricultural problems. In essence, they are similar in kind and they spring from similar sources. They must be solved and there is little reason to believe that they can be solved more easily on a national basis than in an international framework.

This thesis is not new. The problems of agriculture have elicited an enormous volume of written words in recent years. The author . . .

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