European Studies

Essay by jc482sHigh School, 12th gradeA-, November 2014

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Discuss the relative merits/demerits of an agricultural policy 
oriented to price reform rather than one based upon structural 
"The common market shall extend to agriculture and trade in agricultural
products. 'Agricultural products' means the products of the soil, of
stock-farming and of fisheries and products of first-stage processing
directly related to these products....The operation and development of the
common market for agricultural products must be accompanied by the
establishment of a common agricultural policy among the Member States"  (1)
>From the beginning of the European Union, EU policy has given emphasis to
the agricultural sector. To this end, a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
was established in 1963. (2) Provisions for this policy were made in the
Treaty of Rome. The aims of this policy were to increase agricultural
productivity, to ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural
community, to stabilise markets and to ensure reasonable prices for the
consumer. (3) This is unusual in the context of the Treaty of Rome which
provided for free trade and movement of resources. Agriculture was
ill-adapted for this approach. Protection was given, not only by customs
duties, but also by a variety of agricultural policies. This essay will
discuss the merits and demerits of a the pre-1992 CAP with its emphasis on
price reform, in comparison with the post-1992 CAP which was oriented to
structural reform.  
It cannot be denied that there were merits of the pre-1992 price reform
policy. There was a bountiful food supply with an increased variety and
quantity of food. Farmer's yields increased, particularly the large
farmers. Producers were protected from the external market due to community
preference and, therefore, domestic agriculture could develop. There were
also spin offs in food production. Although some of the policies created
good returns for farmers, the...