Monday, March 26, 2007

Happy 50th, European Union! Now take off that CAP!

Happy Birthday, European Union! Now do the noble thing and scrap the anti-competitive Common Agricultural Policy. It is a giant waste of money (taking up nearly half the EU's total budget), it means Europeans pay more for their food than they actually need to, it means unsuccessful farm businesses are propped up by the government despite their failings, and it means that farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa find it incredibly difficult to compete with the barriers they face in selling their products over here.

The intellectual, moral and economic argument for scrapping the CAP has been won. All that is needed is some courage from the French government to recognise the damage they are doing to not just farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa but to their own economy, despite the loud whining of the French farming lobby. Sadly none of the three presidential candidates have made much noise about CAP reform.


Edis said...

According to the article in yesterdays Observer £ FRance falls for teh third man" one candidade. Bayrou, wants to reduce agricultrural subsidies 'which are murdering African farmers'. His big area of strength apparently are the rural areas... will be interesting to see if this holds up.

Chris said...

That's really interesting! Bayrou does sound like the best candidate. One thing is for sure, the right-wing candidate is not an economic liberal (which is what France needs its right-wing to become) but an authoritarian statist like Blair. Royal, the left-wing candidate, is just inexperienced and has been making so many mistakes.

Bayrou seems like the obvious choice - though you are right to highlight the conflict of interest between his base being the rural areas and wanting to reform agricultural subsidies.