Common Agricultural Policy

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Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

in the law of the European Union, one of the very foundations, being the legal regime supporting the coordination of agriculture in Europe. Although included in the Common Market, it was necessary to make special provision for agriculture because of the contradictory nature of the policies of some founding member states, made none the easier by the accession of others. The essence of it is that the market is unified, allowing free movement of goods throughout the Community.

There is a Community preference protecting the market against imports from outside and the CAP is to be financially secure: the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund was set up to this end. Market organizations have been set up for most products, which have the effect of stopping member states from setting up competing systems. The principal effect of the CAP differs in relation to different products: wheat and related produce are protected by intervention purchases made to support producers; beef and related produce are supported by excluding outside competition; and fruit and vegetables and wine are controlled by quality.

The intervention price is set as that at which the national authorities must buy certain crops - some farmers may be tempted to grow crops for the intervention price rather than any real market. The more member states become involved in the Union, the more interested they become in reforming the CAP rather than using it as an excuse for complaining. The target price is part of the cereal market scheme. It is the price at which it is expected that sales can be made in the next year in the Union. It is not a fixed price. It is established annually by the Council with a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission after consulting the Parliament.

The threshold price is the price fixed for certain imports from outside countries. It protects Union farmers from outside cheap competition. It is fixed by taking the cost of imports and making sure that it does not exceed the set internal target price. Reforms introduced in 1999 emphasize food safety, environmental objectives and sustainable agriculture. These objectives, which fall outside the scope of market policy, now, with rural development, have become the second pillar of CAP. The reforms in 2003 consist of simplification of market support measures and direct aid by decoupling direct payments to farmers (the aid which they receive is not tied to production); reinforcing rural development by transferring market support funds to rural development through modulation (reductions in direct payments to large farms); a financial discipline mechanism (ceiling placed on market support expenditure and direct aid between 2007 and 2013). In 2004, a second set of initiatives was introduced including: reform of aid to Mediterranean products (tobacco, hops, cotton and olive oil) and a proposal for the reform of the common organization on the market in sugar.

References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Davies discussed the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and the Welsh Government's important role fighting for a good deal for Welsh farmers in Europe.
Major environmental and farming groups have called on "policy makers" to stick to the European Commission's pro-green' proposals put forward in the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) reform package in October 2011.
The EEB also wants to ensure a greening of all the spending lines under the Common Agriculture Policy and Common Fisheries Policy, with sufficient funding to be allocated (3.
Proposals for reform of the Common Agriculture Policy were uninspiring.
Its implementation is expected to modernize and promote export and harmonize the local legislation with the common agriculture policy of the European Union whose latest modifications will take effect in 2013.
July 21 2010 -- EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Ciolos, has called for a strong, efficient and balanced Common Agriculture Policy for the future.
to try and reverse recent reforms to the Common Agriculture Policy.
One target will be the Common Agriculture Policy that spends a huge amount of its budget on subsidizing large-scale rich farmers.
The target of the systematic increase of the EU's competitiveness in the next decade has as a direction of study the Common Agriculture Policy.
Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the Government's "spectacular failure" in not winning guaranteed reforms of the Common Agriculture Policy.
France will never move an inch even though Blair insists there must be reform of the Common Agriculture Policy.
The move came a day after French President Jacques Chirac warned he would scupper the so-called Doha Round rather than let Mr Mandelson negotiate away the Common Agriculture Policy.