Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

EU: Common Agricultural Policy

The EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the priciest program in the EU. It seems to do much of what was promised in the EU treaties, but like most things in the EU there's a deficit of democracy. Why would the CAP be an issue in the UK in the debate over EU membership?


The common agricultural policy and EU solidarity
Giles Fraser says the EU “has become a huge and largely invisible way of redistributing wealth from the poor to the rich”… Clearly there is an element of the common agricultural policy that does do just that…

According to the eminent historian Tony Judt… “taken all in all, the EU is a good thing … from the late eighties, the budgets of the European Community and the Union nevertheless had a distinctly redistributive quality, transferring resources from wealthy regions to poorer ones and contributing to a steady reduction in the aggregate gap between rich and poor…

It’s because of this approach that poor regions like mine, the north-east of England, are net beneficiaries of EU funding despite the fact we belong to a net contributing nation. In the 80s the EU helped lift Spain, Portugal and Ireland out of relative poverty and the same process is under way today with the countries of eastern Europe. Fraser has missed the big picture – the EU is actually a socialist plot, but be careful who you tell that to…

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