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Agricultural Policy Formation in the European Community: The Birth of Milk Quotas and CAP Reform

154 pages4 hours


Understanding why agricultural policies of developed countries are what they are is critical on several accounts for the developed countries as a group and for individual countries. It is important because the inter-dependencies among national agricultural policies are so numerous, as illustrated by the ongoing agricultural trade confrontation between the United States and the European Community; confrontation that is vividly expressed in the current subsidy war between the two trading blocs. The stakes for developing countries are also very high because the domestic agricultural policies of these two giants have a considerable influence on the international markets of major agricultural commodities.

Studying why policies are what they are is an important research issue: legitimate in its own right on scientific grounds and relevant for any institution dealing with agricultural policies. Thus, it is only fitting that an international research institute dealing with food policy should analyze developed country policies and actions. This book is a further development of a research report by Michel Petit, ``Determinants of Agricultural Policies in the United States and the European Community'', published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and is written by a team of eminent European scholars from a variety of organisations called together by Michel Petit and working under his leadership. Concentrating on the policy process in the European Community, this research provides useful insights on the influence of domestic, economic and political factors in shaping the positions of member countries in Community negotiations and on the process leading to a Community policy decision.

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