Enlarging the European Union to some ten countries in Central and Eastern Europe is
a political priority to the European Union. Two difficult areas in the ongoing enlargement
negotiations are the common agricultural policy (CAP) and food quality.
The major difficulty is how to incorporate new member states in a common agricultural
policy – new members with another economic situation, with other agricultural
structures, with a much higher proportion of the work force engaged in agriculture,
and with consumers spending a higher proportion of their disposable income on food.
Most of the discussion is on how to integrate new members in the present policy and
if the policy should cover them fully. Though the enlargement will change the features
of the EU´ s agricultural sector fundamentally, there is almost no discussion on
what this will imply to a future common policy for agriculture. What kind of agricultural
policy would be appropriate in that European Union – an EU with 25 or so
But in a few years the EU will have changed. The Union´ s agriculture will be totally
different from today. The political power will be spread over maybe ten more countries.
The political priorities will have changed, on - for instance - agriculture.
What can we expect from the new enlarged European Union? How will new members
act in future negotiations on CAP reform? What priorities will they have? Which agricultural
policy will they prefer? These questions could not be answered today, but
they can be analysed from some rational points of departure. One starting-point is the
political situation and tradition in these countries as well as the traditional status of,
and the view on, the agricultural sector. Another is their competitiveness in producing
This is the kind of analysis we have done in this study, for the milk sector in four candidate
countries. To participate in the study the institute engaged Wanda Chmielewska-
Gill, who is agricultural economist at the Ministry of Agriculture (the Policy
Analysis Unit), Warsaw.