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Is the Common Agricultural Policy Prepared for the 2004 Enlargement?

Satisfactory Essays
Is the Common Agricultural Policy Prepared for the 2004 Enlargement?

The voluntary cooperation among the European nations has survived numerous political and economic turbulences since its general inception after World War II. Fifty-five years ago, the Marshall Plan was proposed, leading to today’s European Union (EU) which seeks an “ever closer union among the European peoples.” The Enlargement of 2004 will integrate ten more European countries into the framework of the EU. As the number of member states rise from 15 to 25, is the EU prepared to handle the shock of adding ten poor nations whose economical structure differs from its own? No, it is not.

The most significant threat of the Enlargement, thus far, revolves around the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The EU recognizes that it will suffer tremendous economic consequences if it is not fully prepared to handle the effects of integrating the poor agricultural countries. Thus it has been attempting to reform the CAP. But the revision of the EU’s agricultural policies and budget expenditures in the past decade has farmers and other agricultural workers worrying about the effects of the 2004 Enlargement.

There is a need to overhaul the current Common Agricultural Policy to make acquis communautaire, acceptance of current EU laws and regulations, more attainable and to adjust the agricultural sector’s share of the EU’s budget to more accurate levels in proportion to the European workforce. This paper briefly examines the European Union’s CAP origins, evolution, and current Enlargement focus. Recent 2002 changes adopted by the EU in Brussels and CAP reforms for achieving an “ever closer union” with the candidate countries will be addressed.

Introduction

One of the European Union’s strengths lies in its success with market integration of its member states to achieve a political union and attain peace and prosperity. The Common Market was established by actively removing barriers that affected trade among the member states. This economic relationship between the European nations was extended to the agricultural sector via the Common Agricultural Policy.

The Common Agricultural Policy has been noted as a structural foundation of the European Union. The adoption of the CAP has allowed Europe to shift from being a major food importer to a major exporter. Since the 1950s and 1960s, the CAP remains an economic burden on the EU budget due to its large share of the budget expenditure.
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