Understanding the costs of an environmentally 'friendly' common agricultural policy for the European Union

Barnes, Pamela M. and Barnes, Ian G. (2001) Understanding the costs of an environmentally 'friendly' common agricultural policy for the European Union. European Environment, 11 (1). pp. 27-36. ISSN 0961-0405

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Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eet.247

Abstract

Part of the bedrock of the European Union's (EU's) Environmental Policy is the principle that those who pollute the environment should pay for the cost of remedying the damage they cause (the polluter pays principle) (Article 174 para. 2 TEC ex Article 130r TEC). In addition environmental objectives must be integrated into all the sectoral policies of the European Union (Article 6 TEC ex Article 3c TEC). The Common Agricultural Policy's (CAP's) role at the centre of the EU's sectoral policies would appear to make it an ideal focus for implementing Article 6 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC). If integration of environmental protection can be achieved in this central area of the EU's activities then a major source of environmental degradation could be overcome. However, if these requirements are applied to European agriculture the sector will face a budgetary and financial crisis of even greater magnitude than at the present time.
Recent reforms of the CAP have been designed with the objective of achieving an agricultural sector that is moving towards sustainability. As this article argues the political, social and economic significance of the agriculture sector is such that national governments of the EU have repeatedly shied away from adopting the measures, which could significantly reduce the pollution from the sector. The proposals for reform made by the Agricultural Commissioner, Franz Fischler, were amended by the meeting of the European Council that took place in Berlin on 24/25 March 1999. These amendments substantially weakened the ambitions of the strategy for development of the EU, the Agenda 2000 adopted in 1997, for a number of reasons ([CEC, 1997]). This article examines the reasons for the disappointments with the amended reforms and speculates on the possible future path that may be taken to improve matters.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Part of the bedrock of the European Union's (EU's) Environmental Policy is the principle that those who pollute the environment should pay for the cost of remedying the damage they cause (the polluter pays principle) (Article 174 para. 2 TEC ex Article 130r TEC). In addition environmental objectives must be integrated into all the sectoral policies of the European Union (Article 6 TEC ex Article 3c TEC). The Common Agricultural Policy's (CAP's) role at the centre of the EU's sectoral policies would appear to make it an ideal focus for implementing Article 6 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC). If integration of environmental protection can be achieved in this central area of the EU's activities then a major source of environmental degradation could be overcome. However, if these requirements are applied to European agriculture the sector will face a budgetary and financial crisis of even greater magnitude than at the present time. Recent reforms of the CAP have been designed with the objective of achieving an agricultural sector that is moving towards sustainability. As this article argues the political, social and economic significance of the agriculture sector is such that national governments of the EU have repeatedly shied away from adopting the measures, which could significantly reduce the pollution from the sector. The proposals for reform made by the Agricultural Commissioner, Franz Fischler, were amended by the meeting of the European Council that took place in Berlin on 24/25 March 1999. These amendments substantially weakened the ambitions of the strategy for development of the EU, the Agenda 2000 adopted in 1997, for a number of reasons ([CEC, 1997]). This article examines the reasons for the disappointments with the amended reforms and speculates on the possible future path that may be taken to improve matters.
Keywords:Environmental policy, Common agricultural policy, European Union
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D400 Agriculture
L Social studies > L241 European Union Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:958
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:13 Jul 2007
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:15

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