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The European Commission’s proposals to cut back on the biofuels section of its renewable energy policy is a wise move. In an atmosphere of undoubtedly increasing tension over global food security such policies operated without flexibility are inevitably going to be a political liability. To the politically simple-minded converting food and feed grains into motor… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The farm lobby’s supporters in the European Parliament are clearly determined on only minimal adjustments to the common agricultural policy in return for guarantees of the continuation of the €55 billion a year largesse from the taxpayer. Deliberations in the Agriculture Committee indicate strongly that MEPs will not support the Commission’s very modest plans for… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

It was entirely predictable that EU farm ministers would respond to the European Commission’s post 2013 CAP reform proposals by agreeing on a policy direction which would ensure that there can be no radical change in the Union’s €50+ billion a year common agricultural policy. What was however surprising, even to hardened farm council watchers,… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The most recent meetings of the European Union’s farm ministers have given a pretty clear indication that any changes which may take place in the common agricultural policy are unlikely to be more than cosmetic. After much wrangling in the Special Committee on Agriculture (SCA) and in the Council of Ministers itself, a completely anodyne… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The European Commission’s approach to yet another upcoming reform of the common agricultural policy is largely devoted to the continuation of the current policy with a few added concessions to green pressures on the side. This approach is increasingly irrelevant at this stage in the development of European agriculture and in an increasingly unstable world… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Improved food security has long been a justification for protecting farmers. In the long history of European agriculture policy flinging up tariff walls and subsidising production has nearly always been the governmental response to the prospect of potential food shortage. The evidence that such actions generally result in a reduction of production outside the protected… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner