The European Union Explained: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact

By Andreas Staab | Go to book overview

11
The Common Agricultural Rolicy

From its beginnings in the 1950s the Common Agricultural Policy was a cornerstone of European integration, yet it has always been severely criticized. At first glance it seems odd that a program providing for only 2 percent of the EU’s GDP and employing only 5 percent of its workforce should swallow up nearly half its budget. Ever since 1967, when for the first time there was free trade in practically all agricultural products across the European Community, the CAP has been censured for being a uniquely wasteful bureaucratic way of supporting agriculture, and for being managed based on endless negotiations between national ministers who themselves are subject to fierce lobbying. Critics point out that this system, which gives direct subsidies to farmers and sets artificially high prices, shields farmers from market discipline and prevents products from selling more cheaply at world-market prices. Euroskeptics have a great deal of ammunition here in depicting the EU as an overly bureaucratic and inefficient exercise; indeed, the CAP even appears unnecessary in view of the economic insignificance of European agriculture in the twenty-first century. Yet every EU citizen supports it, either directly or indirectly—directly through EU payments to farmers and indirectly by paying food prices that in the past were up to 40 percent above the world-market level. So a fundamental question is why

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The European Union Explained: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Acronyms xv
  • Tables xix
  • Part One - The Evolution of the European Union 1
  • 1 - Parameters of European Integration 3
  • 2 - Enlarsement 32
  • Part Two - Institutions 47
  • 3 - The European Commission 49
  • 4 - The European Council 56
  • 5 - The Council of Ministers 61
  • 6 - The European Parliament 67
  • 7 - The European Court of Justice 76
  • 8 - Checks and Balances 84
  • Part Three - Policies 91
  • 9 - The Single Market and Competition 93
  • 10 - Regional Rolicy and Cohesion 106
  • 11 - The Common Agricultural Policy 116
  • 12 - Economic and Monetary Union 128
  • 13 - Justice and Home Affairs 141
  • 14 - Common Foreign and Security Policy 151
  • 15 - Trade and the Common Commercial Policy 161
  • 16 - Environment 171
  • 17 - The Sovereign Debt Crisis in the Eurozone 179
  • Outlook- The Future of European Integration 197
  • Notes 205
  • Bibliosraphy 225
  • Index 229
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