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Cover Politics in the European Union

21. Agriculture  

This chapter examines the European Union’s (EU’s) policy on agriculture. The importance that the EU has given to the agricultural sector can be attributed in large part to food shortages at the end of the Second World War. Governments agreed that it was important to ensure adequate supplies of food at reasonable prices. To achieve this, it was necessary to provide an adequate income to farmers, while taking measures to increase their productivity. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was the first redistributive policy of the European Community, and for many years the only one. The chapter reviews the history of the CAP and explains the main drivers for reform, which include costs, EU enlargement, environmental pressures, and the growing powers of the European Parliament. Another key driver for change has stemmed from external pressure from world trade talks. The chapter concludes by reviewing the prospects for the next iteration of the CAP from 2021–27.


Cover The European Union

7. Internal Policies of the EU  

Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos and Daniel Kenealy

This chapter examines some of the EU’s key internal policies. The chapter begins by considering the different kinds of power that the EU possesses, and how that differs from national governments, before considering the EU’s reliance on member states to implement many of its policies. The chapter explores three types of internal policy. First, it discusses policies designed to build and expand the internal market, which remains the foundation of the project of European integration. Second, it explores policies designed to cushion, or correct, the impact of the internal market. Finally, it discusses policies that have taken the EU into new realms, beyond the original vision of constructing an internal market—realms that are associated with core state powers such as money, borders, and internal security.