Swinnen, Johan F.M. (2001) A Fischler Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy? CEPS Working Document No. 173, September 2001. [Working Paper]
After the Agenda 2000 reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) were decided, commentators suggested that the discussion on the next reform could start right away since the reform agreements were insufficient to address the problems facing the CAP in the next decade, including EU enlargement and the WTO negotiations. A set of mid-term reviews are being organised for 2002-03. Several recent food crises have reinforced the demand for a significant reform of the CAP. The debate on agricultural policy in the EU has been lively and politically prominent over the past months. However the variety of pressures and demands for reform has made the debate complex – and its outcome hard to predict. This document reviews the main pressures for CAP reform, and the factors complicating it. The analysis pays particular attention to structural changes as well as to institutional and political economy factors in the CAP debate. It also discusses the timing and the political coalitions in the decision-making, and discusses implications from the history of CAP reforms for future reforms.
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