Brian Gardner's Blog

Archives for CAP Reform

CONFUSION IN BERLIN

Agriculture ministers, as some wiseacre pointed out long ago, are the last people who should be allowed to make decisions on agriculture policy. The truth of this sagacious insight was once again demonstrated by the recent gathering of G20 agriculture ministers in Berlin. Much of their deliberations should have been devoted to seeking ways of… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

SUGAR: THE UNFINISHED REFORM

The recently published Court of Auditors critique of the European Union’s reform of the sugar market regime, enlightening in many ways, failed to emphasise the most important lacuna in the Council’s 2005 reform agreement – the failure to deal with the implicit plot against the consumer inherent in the EU’s sugar production quota system. The… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

CAP reform or mere trimming?

The European Commission’s proposals for so-called ‘reform’ of the common agricultural policy are nothing of sort. They are basically a justification for continuing the present policy into the post-2013 budget phase largely unchanged, As farm commissioner Dacian Ciolos has had to admit, the policy is currently suffering a ‘crisis of legitimacy’. Though he may be… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The regular ritual verbal punch-up over the disposition of the European Union’s budget is once again in the offing. Opening salvoes have already been fired from the two traditionally entrenched sides of the Channel. The European Commission, in its hopefully impartial role, has called for a completely new approach, rising above the inevitable squabble over… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Despite the existence of much information to the contrary, the myth of the poor European farmer persists. In most western countries of the European Union farms run as businesses make a good living – as good if not better than in other sectors of the economy. Real income data, rather than global averages, proves the… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

For farmer’s organisations and a majority of European Union member state governments radical change of the common agricultural policy is unthinkable. Any moves towards a more rational payment of income subsidies, let alone their phasing out, would inevitably mean a tectonic shift in the balance of payments to particular groups of farmers and in the… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

US HOLDS KEY TO DOHA

The Doha Round of trade liberalisation negotiations is well and truly stalled. No one is in any doubt about that. What there is doubt about however is: why? Developing country demands for greater farm subsidy reductions by the European Union and other developed countries, lack of access for European goods and services, US demands for… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Much official attention and taxpayers money has recently been devoted to the perceived ‘problem’ in the European Union’s dairy farming sector. Incomes are chronically low, it is claimed, and therefore measures must be taken to prop up markets and therefore incomes The real problem is however probably insoluble: the inevitably low incomes of too many… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The belief of the European Commission and a majority of EU member governments that income support is the main objective of the Union’s agriculture policy is a major obstacle to the constructive reform of the CAP. Despite the continuing claims of the farm unions to the contrary, modern European agriculture no longer needs taxpayer support.… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Once upon a time farm lobbies argued for a common agricultural policy as a guarantee of food security; now it is justified on the grounds of environmental projection. In neither case can a policy based on massive subvention from the taxpayer be justified. Europe’s food supply was never seriously threatened by lack of support for… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner