For a small country, Denmark has been showing remarkable leadership in the EU and the world as a whole. And it is the home to some of the world's happiest people. Now they are taking a remarkable step to consider at least, scrapping the CAP.
Some Danish colleagues told me recently that the Danish Parliament on 30 May last unanimously passed a resolution requiring the Danish government to propose a strategy for how it would actively work for the elimination of EU agricultural support. The strategy should include a timeframe and plan of activities which should take into account the planned CAP Health Check in 2008 and the review of the EU budget in 2009. The strategy should be presented to Parliament before the end of 2007. [More]
The entire EU is more than a little restive about their byzantine system of farm subsidies, especially after the single payment regime eroded much of the popular support by increasing the transparency of the payments. In fact, even the French are headed for a real moment of reckoning as shortly they will be net payers into the CAP rather than their historic sponge-like participation.
Sometime in the next five years France,
the country that has done the most to
defend a unified European farm policy,
will move from being a net beneficiary of
the CAP to become a net contributor,
paying in more than it is getting out. This
will fundamentally change the outlook
of the French government towards the
‘financial solidarity’ of the CAP. The
new government of President Sarkozy
has already signalled a desire for more
national responsibility for the financing of
agriculture policy. This is code for French
taxpayers paying for French farmers
but not for Spanish, Polish or Romanian
How ironic it would be if the most intensely subsidized region of agriculture would become the most reformist. Think of who the US would have to be "not as bad as" to justify our payments. A handful of Japanese rice growers?