The Common Agricultural Policy

  • John Marsh
Part of the British Association for the Advancement of Science book series


For some people in Europe the Common Agricultural Policy is seen as one of the principal achievements of the Community Linking together through formal policy the activities of all member countries in one particular sector it is regarded as a pattern for the closer union foreseen in the preamble to the Rome treaty. This view would be greeted with astonishment by most who live in the United Kingdom and with growing scepticism amongst adherents of the Community elsewhere. The Common Agricultural Policy seems to have become a symbol of the divisiveness, inefficiency and collective stupidity of the Community. Far from being an integrating device, it promises to prove the explosive which finally wrecks all hope of European unity. This chapter tries to explain why, despite the good intentions of those who created the Common Agricultural Policy, it has not led to heaven. It will also suggest that there are other policies which could achieve more nearly what the authors of the treaty and the CAP intended.


European Unity Member Country Food Price Price Policy Common Agricultural Policy 
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  1. 1.
    See, for example, T. E. Josing and Donna Hamway, ‘Income Transfer Effects of the Common Agricultural Policy’, in B. Davey, T. E. Josling and A. McFarguhar (eds), Agriculture and the State ( London: Macmillan, 1976 ) pp. 180–205.Google Scholar

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© The British Association for the Advancement of Science 1983

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  • John Marsh

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