chapter  1
26 Pages

The Political Economy of Agriculture in the European Community

WithMichael Tracy

This chapter discusses the development of agricultural policy “with particular focus on the political and economic forces which have given rise to agricultural and trade policy positions,” and explores “the forces which will determine future policy choice.” It deals with the most important national attitudes and explains how they influenced the formation and development of the Common Agricultural Policy and also discusses the reforms, and aims to explore the background to the European Community proposals in the context of the Uruguay Round. The Community of Twelve thus incorporates a north-south element, in which the less prosperous southern members expect financial transfers from the north. Community farmers have been subject to much the same pressures as those in North America; Cochrane’s “treadmill” theory applies in Western Europe as well. The key decisions were taken by the European Council at sessions in Fontainebleau in June 1984 and in Brussels in February 1988.