Agricultural Policy Formation in the European Community: The by MICHEL PETIT, MICHELE DE BENEDICTIS, DENIS BRITTON, MARTIJN PDF


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Extra resources for Agricultural Policy Formation in the European Community: The Birth of Milk Quotas and Cap Reform

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When the FNSEA and the FNPL did not show any sign of flexibility after the failure of the Athens summit had convinced all parties concerned that quotas could not be avoided, the FNCL leaders felt that they had to speak up. Such is the signficiance of an editorial in the organization's paper written by the FNCL President, F. Michon, in early January 1984, advocating some flexibility in the dairy organizations1 positions. They feared that refusing to discuss could lead to a set of measures which could be very bad for the whole milk production and processing sector.

This new approach does not mean the CAP must ignore the economic and social situation in the primary sector... But long term measures must rely more heavily on structural aids under an overall strategy to develop the less favoured areas, with less emphasis on incomes support and guaranteed prices" (6). This citation illustrates the contradiction faced by the Commission, and for that matter by the CAP: How to reconcile the income objectives of the CAP and the forces which, given the present structure of market intervention measures, lead to supply-demand imbalances with unacceptable consequences for budget expenditure?

Conscious that growth in production could not continue for ever at the same pace, they had tried over the last few years to "buy time", to allow French producers to catch up with their more efficient competitors from Northern Europe. This explains why the FNPL was in favour of limiting the entry into the Community of cheap feedstuffs such as cassava, which their competitors, located close to major harbours, could use to better advantage. They also opposed the MCAs, as giving an unfair competive advantage to producers from strong currency countries, particularly Germany and the Netherlands.

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