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In 1957 the Common

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In 1957 the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was outlined by the then six member states. The main reason for the Common Agricultural policy was to make Agriculture a self sufficient entity in The European Union. The six member states of the European Union proposed to do this by creating a stable market for agricultural produce and at the same time keeping prices at an affordable level for consumers. The heads of the European Union (E.U) believed that Agriculture was one of the most significant industries within the E.U; .and as a result agreed that special attention needed to be focused on this area of European policy. "When the nations of Europe got together in the late 1950's, agriculture was important to their economies and even more important to their culture and societies" (Wyn, G. 1997 pg6) The common Agricultural policy which was finally agreed upon in 1962 and fully implemented in 1967 is to date the most fully integrated area in European policy. "Agricultural policy is the E.U's most elaborate policy area and has always been the focus of interest" (Molle, Willem. T. M. 2001 pg 222) In summary the Common Agricultural policy had five main aims these were to * Increase Agricultural productivity * Ensure a fair standard of living for Farmers. ...read more.


Tony Blair was very much opposed to this as it would be in the interests of the U.K to reform the Common Agricultural Policy as it would be for the other industrialised countries such as Germany and Sweden. As mentioned earlier the "Wine Lakes" and "Food Mountains are a source of much controversy for the Common agricultural policy. It is often cited by critics of the policy that the common agricultural policy is no longer viable and no longer a relevant policy in the European Union. "The conditions that led to its creation no longer exist" (Jones, R. 2000 pg 213). Cap was designed so that the E.U could become self sufficient in its production of Agriculture produce. It has fulfilled this aim but now over produced leading to an overwhelming surplus of Agriculture produce i.e. "Food Mountains" and "Wine Lakes". This is a source of huge controversy when one considers the plight of many nations due to famine and food shortages as much of this surplus is often destroyed or released on to global markets which often has a detrimental effect on global markets. The "Food Mountains" and "Wine lakes" are the source of an eminent waste of food as well as a huge financial strain on the E.U budget with the cost of transportation and storage as well as damage to foreign markets when the goods are released onto them. ...read more.


The Common agricultural policy was materialised to deal with the Agricultural problems of the 1950's and 1960's and sense then for the most part it has failed to develop along with the changes in the economics of the E.U, which has brought with them significant changes in European Union Agriculture. One could go as far as to say that the common Agricultural policy is no longer relevant in modern Europe. As well as this the Common Agricultural policy continues to benefit Agrarian states while causing a burden to industrialised states such as the U.K and Germany. The Common Agricultural Policy puts a huge financial burden on the E.U and for the majority has failed to stabilise food prices, it has caused inequalities between members of the farming community caused international conflict and has had a negative impact on the environment which has been a source of much debate from environmentalists. The E.U has made several attempts to justify and reform the Common Agricultural Policy but since its beginnings it has been steeped in controversy and this controversy is likely to continue well into the future especially in light of recent E.U expansion into Eastern European societies who are for the most part Agrarian societies dependant largely on Agriculture. The financial burden of the Common Agricultural policy on the European Union budget may become impossible to sustain. A priority of the E.U must be to further modernise the Common Agricultural Policy and avoid using dated solutions to fix modern agricultural problems. ...read more.

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