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Common Agricultural Policy (Cap) Essay

1606 words - 6 pages

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) represents the set of policies that the European Economic Community first and the European Union, after, have adopted in the agricultural sector conceiving it as a strategic field to achieve an equal and stable development in the Member States. This sector's peculiarities caused agriculture to become the most integrated productive sector at the European level, the one in which the EU action supersedes the Member States' activity more intensively and more frequently. In this context, Italy has received large benefits from the CAP, since this has been an important instrument both to cooperate with other national states and to develop its territories, especially in the southern part of the country.

The CAP is now based on two pillars: the first one encompasses the direct payments regime and the market measures, while the second one includes the rural development support measures. Direct payments guarantee the continuity of agriculture in Europe, assuring some income stability to farmers and safeguarding companies from prices fluctuations. These subsidies are conditional on the respect of some environment, food security, phitosanitary requirements and animals’ health norms. Italy is the EU member with he highest number of farmers, but it is the fourth one with respect to the amount of direct payment received. The market measures are aimed at avoiding that economic, climatic or sanitary crisis interrupt agricultural production and at guaranteeing the recognition of the correct added value to farmers by the market. Finally, the rural development policy is oriented toward maintaining the vitality of the countrysides through investments, modernisation and activities-support programmes in rural areas.

The CAP was ideated for the first time at the conclusion of the Treaties of Rome but was definitely designed in 1962 and, after more than 50 years, its objectives remain immutable (art. 39 TFEU). However, the context and the responsiveness have changed over time, and the CAP has consequently been adapted to the different circumstances: when the CAP came into existence, it was majorly focused on productivity. During the 70's and 80's an over-production crisis hit the European agricultural sector and specific measures were adopted to align the production to the market's needs. Afterwords, in 1992, the CAP was reformed and shifted from sustaining the market through prices support to sustaining the farmers through direct payments and propelling competitiveness. Furthermore, in the new Millennium, greater attention was given to sustainability and new themes such as quality of food, production improvement, marketing, organic agriculture and rural development were introduced. Moreover, with the 2003 Reform, the link between subsidies and production was abandoned in favour of the one between the former and income. In 2004 and 2007 (and 2013) the EU agricultural population doubled and its agricultural and rural landscape...

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