An opportunity for reform – missed.
This is not the place for airing arguments for and against our membership of the European Union but in this issue Patrizia Rossi writes of the latest failure to make real changes to the Common Agricultural Policy.
From the early days of the Treaty of Rome the aim has been to allocate rewards based on production and we can remember butter mountains and wine lakes although I never managed to swim in one. The EU would have us believe that serious and far-reaching reforms were introduced in 1992, 2000 and 2003 but is it really any better?
The Eurocrats tinker with it, but it remains the largest expenditure of European funding and is said to be responsible for forcing up the price of food in Europe. It may also worsen poverty in other parts of the world by the dumping of European surpluses at low prices. Why can we not step back and look again? The aim of making Europe self-sufficient in food was achieved decades ago, so now is the time to consider whether this colossal expenditure could be better directed.
If just a small proportion of the CAP budget was redirected at the improvement of the environment it would have a greater, more far-reaching effect on the continent we will be leaving to future generations than anything the CAP has achieved thus far – but will it happen?
- Success for Harriers and Storks
- New reserve in Campania
- BirdLife summit in Canada
- CAP reform – “a poor effort”