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Sylvia Schwaag Serger

SLI-rapport 2001:4

Negotiating CAP Reform in the European Union - Agenda 2000

The question analysed in this report is the role of the EU’s system of agricultural policy decision-making and negotiating. Some of the reasons to why a reform is so difficult to attempt can be found in the format of the EU’s decision-making and negotiations. These questions are thoroughly dealt with in this report. While the CAP as such is much analysed, analyses of these aspects of reform are rather neglected.

A decision on the CAP was taken during 1999 – Agenda 2000. Though it did not address thoroughly the problems that the CAP suffers from, the Commission’s initial proposal contained some attractive elements regarding structural policy changes. However, the final agreement – reached by Heads of State and Government – was far more modest than the Commission’s proposal. The result means that the EU has not prepared the CAP for the near future. The problems were well known. The need to change to facilitate enlargement was widely acknowledged. The direction of and the demands in the WTO were accepted. Why – in this situation – were no major changes made? What happened – and why?

This is the thrilling story of this report.