Ideas for Reforming the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy After 2013
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Publication date: 2011-06-30
GNPJE 2011;248(5-6):85-104
The article focuses on a debate under way across the European Union on prospects for developing the bloc’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013. At the center of the debate are ideas to reform CAP being put forward by various researchers. Historical experience shows that the ideas and suggestions of scientists play an important role in the process of reforming CAP, Kosior says. The article analyzes three specific visions of CAP after 2013—a proposal by Bureau and Mahé, who argue that the system of direct payments should be converted into a “general contractual scheme;” the idea of Heissenhuber et al. suggesting a three-step scheme of basic payments, voluntary agri-environmental measures and regional support; and a proposal by a group of leading European agricultural economists on the establishment of a Common Agricultural Policy for European Public Goods. The analysis refers to the achievements of new institutional economics. In conclusion, the author attempts to evaluate the presented ideas for developing CAP from the perspective of Poland’s interests. The shared feature of the analyzed concepts is that they place an emphasis on the environmental aspect of CAP. All the researchers suggest that the new CAP should be more flexible and more useful in the battle against climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the depletion of water and soil resources in Europe. At the same time, the Common Agricultural Policy should rely on the principle of subsidiarity. However, despite some shared features, the analyzed proposals differ in several important respects, Kosior notes. Bureau and Mahé propose co-financing and contracting of virtually all types of payments in the future agricultural policy. The agricultural economists call for national financing of direct payments, but stress the need for full financing from the EU budget of all-European public goods. Heissenhuber points to the need to differentiate payment rates depending on how farmers comply with environmental requirements. The analysis conducted shows that the proposal of the agricultural economists is the most well-balanced and could prove to be the optimal scenario for developing CAP in the long term, the author concludes.
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