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European Union Agricultural Policy Institutions and Decision Making Processes


  • Vaughan, Odette
  • Tanguay, Luc
  • Gilmour, Brad


This note examines European Union (EU) institutions and policy making processes in relation to its agriculture and food sector. With a market comprised of 495 million people across 27 countries and a comprehensive agricultural policy accounting for the largest share of the EU budget, how the EU policy environment functions is important to Canada. Decisions are made at the supranational EU level for agriculture, fisheries, trade, and regional development, while decision-making related to other policies occurs at the individual country level or through a system of inter-governmental cooperation. Decision-making occurs in three institutions: the Commission, the Council and the Parliament. Agriculture negotiations typically begin with a text drafted by the Council. Then the Commissioner for Agriculture works with national-level farm ministers to prepare a final text. Council decisions are voted on by member states' ministers. A qualified majority of a minimum of 74% of votes must be in favour for decisions related to agriculture. Agriculture policy is the only EU policy to receive most of its funding from the EU budget. Operating agriculture policy at the supranational level allows the EU to achieve a more level playing field for farmers across the member states. Knowledge of these and other facts relating to the EU's agri-food policy institutions and their responsibilities and decision-making processes allows us to better understand and anticipate policy outcomes in the EU.

Suggested Citation

  • Vaughan, Odette & Tanguay, Luc & Gilmour, Brad, 2009. "European Union Agricultural Policy Institutions and Decision Making Processes," Economic and Market Information 55322, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaacem:55322
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.55322

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    Agricultural and Food Policy; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; International Relations/Trade; Political Economy;
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