Edited by Joseph A. McMahon and Michael N. Cardwell
Chapter 5: Agricultural multifunctionality, working lands and public goods: Contested models of agri-environmental governance under the Common Agricultural Policy
The idea that farmers deserve support because they are farmers was never likely to be defensible as a long-term justification for state support. From the earliest days of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), policymakers have grafted a range of public good and social equity justifications onto already existing rationales for offering Europe’s farmers state assistance. It was not until the mid-1980s, however, that a specifically environmental rationale began to emerge. Mounting evidence at that time that agricultural intensification was depleting biodiversity, eroding soils and polluting habitats led some to question the conventional wisdom that simply farming the land would guarantee its protection. The result was the invention of a new domain of ‘agri-environmental policy’ (AEP), designed (in theory, at least) to enable state payments to be used to pay more explicitly for the environmental services farmers provide. In practice, Member States have chosen to adopt different approaches to AEP by setting up payment schemes which target farmers, land and outputs to varying extents. Since that time we have seen the idea of agricultural stewardship and multifunctionality established in the European Union (EU) as central policy ideas, simultaneously justifying quite significant expenditures of public money in order to support farming as a beneficial land use in its own right but also to incentivize environmental benefit streams through more targeted, decoupled, payments.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.