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24 J. Common Mkt. Stud. 1 (1985-1986)

handle is hein.journals/jcmks24 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Journal of Common Market Studies
Volume XXIV, No. I Sept 1985
0021-9886 $3.00







     Costs, Benefits and the Future of the

           Common Agricultural Policy


                            D. R. HARVEY
                          University of Reading

                            K.J. THOMSON
                     University ofNewcastle upon Tyne
In this article, the development of the European Community's Common
Agricultural Policy (CAP) is examined from a number of viewpoints. First,
some estimates are given of the economic costs and benefits of the CAP as a
whole, using a conventional model of the markets in farm products within
the countries of the EC. The discussion is then widened to include the
important features of the policy as an administrative machine and as a
political organism. Against this background, the recent changes in the
direction of the CAP resulting from decisions taken in 1984 are examined,
and three crucial issues - dairy quotas, budgetary discipline, and cereal
supply control - are discussed in more detail with an eye to the future.


                          INTRODUCTION
By their very nature public policies affect diverse interest groups and reflect
compromises  between differing and often conflicting objectives. The prob-
lems of achieving an acceptable, if not optimal, balance between these
groups, interests and objectives within Member States are onerous enough.
In the supra-national context of the European Community's Common
Agricultural Policy, where the divergence between interests is great and the
effects of policy are widespread, the problems of reaching and maintaining
an acceptable compromise are particularly difficult. In this sense, the CAP
continues to represent a remarkable achievement. However, in view of its
interminable conflicts and crises, is it any longer either necessary or
desirable?

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