An analysis of the obstacles and difficulties in the introduction of the EU Common Agricultural Policy reform

Necati Yamaç, Mustafa Acar


The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the first Common Policy of the European Union (EU). It was established in the late 1950’s, but came into force in 1962. Its primary aim was to overcome food shortage problems after the Second World War. Therefore, the CAP introduced price support measures, eventually resulting in surplus production. This meant a financial burden for the EU budget as the reduction of surplus required export subsidies, which distorted international agricultural trade. In many reform efforts, the main idea was to reduce surplus of reduction, to replace price support with direct payments and to prepare the EU agricultural trade negotiations led by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). But making fundamental change in the CAP has not been straightforward. This study identifies three main reasons why the realization of the CAP reform has been elusive and taken such a long time: conflict of national interests, farm lobbying and the structure of the EU-policy making. Net contributing countries such as Germany and the UK opposed to subsidise the agricultural sectors of net recipient countries such as France. As European farmers were heavily reliant on subsidies, farm lobbyists opposed even the smallest reform to the CAP. Since one institution has not been given total power to play a decisive role in the decision making process, making fundamental change in the CAP has not been trivial so far, nor can it be easy in the near future.


The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform, European Union, Subsidies, Price Support, Surplus of Production, Farm Lobbying.

Full Text:

Full Text

Contact info:
ODTÜ İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi
A Binası 06800 Çankaya / Ankara
Tel: +90 312 210 2006
Powered by Open Journal Systems.
Copyright METU Studies in Development 2010-2012.