Factor Mobility, Agriculture, Environment and Quantitative Studies
Edited by Miroslav N. Jovanović
Chapter 9: European Integration and Agricultural Protection: An Introduction
Piet van den Noort 1 INTRODUCTION European integration started after the Second World War and took shape after the Treaty of Rome in 1957. This was the start of the European Economic Community (EEC), which we can now see as a great experiment. This chapter is structured as follows. Section 2 addresses the question of why there should be agricultural protection in the EEC. Section 3 explains the system that evolved. Section 4 discusses outcomes and problems. Section 5 examines possible solutions and prospects, and finally, Section 6 concludes. 2 WHY AGRICULTURAL PROTECTION IN THE EEC? The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was started as a price policy, giving farmers a price guarantee and protection from outside suppliers. Why was that? It is a fact that all capitalist countries have agricultural protection in one form or another and for various reasons. One of the best reasons is the free market’s inability to achieve stability and to gain income parity for farmers, but there were also other reasons. Switzerland and Sweden have protected their agriculture so that in times of war, a situation in which they prefer to remain neutral, their agriculture and food supply provide reasons for agricultural protection; as can the landscape and the environment (including conservation of topsoil) as, for example, in Norway and Austria. Some countries, such as France and Germany, have a long tradition of agricultural protection (Tracy, 1982), but most other countries have had such policies only since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It could...
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