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The Birth of the CAP

Listed author(s):
  • David R. Stead
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    Fifty years ago, a Conference was held at Stresa which could be said to be the single event that most appropriately marks the birth of the CAP. Although five policy objectives had been written into the 1957 Treaty of Rome, these have been widely criticised for being vague and contradictory, and the Treaty contained very few stipulations on the specific policy instruments to be adopted. The Stresa Conference made important, but incomplete, progress towards finalising the policy framework. Most notably, it was generally agreed to avoid a level of price support that created unwanted commodity surpluses and inhibited structural adjustment. But these good intentions, and the positive 'European spirit' of the Conference, began to unravel as soon as the fraught decisions were taken on the details of unifying the protectionist agricultural policies of six different countries. In particular, the decision to fix the initial level of common cereals prices at the upper end of the national spread set an unsatisfactory reference point for other support prices; and an attempt to introduce a genuine common structural policy was rejected. At the turn of the 1970s, the CAP was clearly unbalanced and protectionist, but the Community's first fully-fledged common policy had been constructed. Copyright (c) 2008 The Author. Journal compilation (c) The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2008.

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    Article provided by The Agricultural Economics Society in its journal EuroChoices.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2008)
    Issue (Month): SpecialIssueCAP (08)
    Pages: 6-12

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:eurcho:v:7:y:2008:i:specialissuecap:p:6-12
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