Volume 44, Number 173,
April-June 2013
Common Agricultural and Cohesion Policy
in the Europe 2020 Strategy
Antonio González Temprano

In the 2007-2013 Financial Framework, appropriations allocated for the maintenance of natural resources were covered in Heading 2, Conservation and Management of Natural Resources (Table 1). These appropriations reached 418,125 million euros, at current prices, and represent 42.9% of the multiannual Budget. This is the largest heading.

Three considerations are relevant to this subject. Growth in appropriations for this topic in the 2007-2013 Financial Framework is substantial compared to the time period 2000-2006 (25.3%), but lower than the total Budget (29.6%). In the current cycle the percentage held in 2000-2006 (44.3%) is therefore reduced. Growth between these two cycles is notably lower than growth for general cohesion policy (33.1%), leading to the conclusion that in the 2007-2013 Financial Framework, the difference between the two policies is further undermined. Finally, agricultural policy, whose appropriations represent practically all of the natural resource policy, has been part of a set of reforms since 2003 whose objectives include controlling spending.

The natural resources spending containment policy agreed upon in the 2007-2013 Financial Framework is reinforced by the annual budgets for fiscal years 2007 to 2010. In these four budgets, the resources increased by 6.5%, while the total Budget grew by 11.9% (Table 5), going from 44.2% in 2007, to only 42.1% in 2010. In the final fiscal year, these appropriations represented a lower percentage than what was decided for the entire cycle (42.9%).

Another aspect to keep in mind regarding appropriations for the conservation and management of natural resources, both in the 2007-2013 Financial Framework as well as in the annual budgets for fiscal years 2007-2010, is the absolute dominance of the agricultural sector, as already mentioned. In these four annual budgets, agricultural policy represented nearly 98% of Heading 2. Now we will analyze this policy.

One of the features of European agriculture is its diversity. While true that this is an added value, and as such, a potential source of competitiveness, it also leads to some unsettling challenges, such as the smallholding of plots and land, disparity among production and management models, distribution networks that overly increase the final price of food products by generating enormous gaps between the price for the farmer and the consumer price, not to mention agricultural income per annual unit of labor (aul) far below the rest of economic activities. Consequently, the cap struggled with the challenge of having to operate in an especially complex reality, made more so by the expansions in 2004 and 2007. The average eu27 values should therefore be examined with more reserve than those of the eu15.

The agricultural disparities among member States are diverse. Perhaps the most significant is the differing weight of agricultural production and employment in the national economy. For example, data from Germany, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom have very little to do with figures from Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Portugal and Romania. These two groups of countries had the largest domestic differences in agricultural production and employment and the link between these two factors and per capita income levels.

Another parameter with national disparities is the gross valued added (gva) per hectare of cultivated land. In 2009, the eu15 countries produced a figure of 1,052 euros, while the twelve members incorporated in 2004 and 2007 had a number of 367.7 euros (Table 7). Additionally, data from Belgium, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Malta and the Netherlands were very different from data in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovakia and Sweden. Something similar could be said regarding the number of auls by crop and the number of cultivated hectares of land per aul.

Now we will examine the policies regulating the complex agricultural sector, the cap and some responses to the challenges described here.

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PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 49, Number 195 October-December 2018 is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
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