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Policy-Making in the European Union

Policy-Making in the European Union (8th edn)

Helen Wallace, Mark A. Pollack, Christilla Roederer-Rynning, and Alasdair R. Young
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date: 29 September 2023

p. 1828. The Common Agricultural Policy

The Fortress Challengedlocked

p. 1828. The Common Agricultural Policy

The Fortress Challengedlocked

  • Christilla Roederer-Rynning


This chapter examines the processes that make up the European Union’s common agricultural policy (CAP), with particular emphasis on how the Community method functions in agriculture and how it upheld for decades the walls of fortress CAP. Today’s CAP bears little resemblance to the system of the 1960s, except for comparatively high tariff protection. The controversial device of price support has largely been replaced by direct payments to producers. The chapter first provides an overview of the origins of CAP before discussing two variants of the Community method in agriculture: hegemonic intergovernmentalism and competitive intergovernmentalism. It argues that the challenge for CAP regulators today is not to prevent a hypothetical comeback to the price-support system or generalized market intervention, but to prevent the fragmentation of the single market through a muddled implementation of greening and the consolidation of uneven regimes of support among member states.

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