The Common Agricultural Policy Role in Addressing External Shocks - the Case of Russian Import Ban

By Dragoi, Andreea; Bâlgar, Cristina | Global Economic Observer, January 1, 2015 | Go to article overview

The Common Agricultural Policy Role in Addressing External Shocks - the Case of Russian Import Ban


Dragoi, Andreea, Bâlgar, Cristina, Global Economic Observer


1. Introduction

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the one of the oldest of the common policies and has been conceived as a partnership between fanners and the European Union, its objective being to increase the productivity and production of the European agricultural sector, but also to support sustainable rural development, a concept that also entailed joining the economic dimension with that of social and human welfare. Initially, the CAP overlapped national agricultural policies and the national agricultural sectors, with the European rural area being only considered an economic sector, without any focus on its social and environmental dimension. Later on, as it has been shown in certain theoretical approaches (Sonnino et al., 2012), the CAP also incorporated the sustainable development objective (after the Reform of 2003), which implies accountability for the use of natural resources and environmental protection. In the specialised literature (Tripathy, 2000), the sustainability dimension is considered intrinsic to the objective of rural development and the sustainable future of the rural area cannot be dissociated from a series of components, such as: the development of human resources, quality of life, the environmental protection component, the issue of development gaps and of population migration in search of employment. The comparative analysis conducted in this research starts from the data provided by the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission regarding the financial allocations broken down according to CAP Axes across EU-28. The analysis of these data focuses on the objective of outlining the way in which the CAP has answered the shock created by the Ukrainian crisis and which affected the farmers in the EU in the context of the Russian import ban. The bibliographic corpus used focuses on the studies and assessment and impact reports published on the website of the European Commission's Directorate General (DG) for Agriculture and Rural Development, but comprises also other references as well (books, studies, articles) published in the specialised literature.

2. The CAP in the perspective of 2020 - from competitiveness to sustainability

In February 2014, DG Agriculture and Rural Development published a report (DG Agriculture & Rural Development, 2014) that synthesizes the main directions of development of this common policy in the period 2014-2020, as well as the implications on national policies in the field of agricultural development in the Member States. According to the analysis published in the abovementioned report, the CAP is a bridge between the EU citizens' expectations regarding agriculture and the expectations of EU farmers who face economic and environmental challenges, requiring at the same time an investment from the EU budget in a sector that is strategic in terms of food safety, environment and economic growth in the rural areas. The comparative analysis of the distribution according to axes of the funds dedicated to rural development (see graphic 1) in the new financing framework 2014-2020 indicates an increase of funds allocated to Axis 1 (increase of competitiveness of the agriculture and forestry sector) and a decrease of funds allocated to Axis 2 (EUR 28.5 billion, compared to EUR 63 billion in the period 2007-2013).

In this context, it has to be mentioned that in June 2013, the EU institutions adopted a regulatory framework that outlines new development and reform directions for the Common Agricultural Policy. The new CAP reform was shaped by a comprehensive public debate with the EU citizens and national institutions (EC, 2013) that aimed at enabling the adaptation of the CAP to the new challenges in tenus of medium and long-term development of the EU rural sector. According to the new development directions of the CAP, in the period 20142020, it will focus on three core pillars: ecology and efficiency in agriculture, ensuring healthy food at affordable prices and revitalising the rural areas and communities. …

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