Dehousse, Franklin, and Timmerman, Peter. (2008) The New Context of the Agricultural Debate in Europe. Egmont Paper, no. 22, June 2008. [Policy Paper]
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union (EU) was created in the early 1960s. During its first three decades, it was very successful, and European agriculture produced large surplus rather than deficits by the 1980s. This led to ever increasing market interventions in order to buy the surpluses and to subsidize the exports. Opponents of the CAP were thus offered useful arguments to question the budgetary and ethical consequences of the policy. In the framework of international trade negotiations in the GATT, and later WTO, the CAP also became unacceptable due to its increasing trade distorting character. The combination of internal European and international criticism led to three major CAP reforms since 1992.
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