Fischler reflects on the need for targeted initiatives
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 2003. Fischler reflects on the need for targeted initiatives. Agritrade, October 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52653
The EU Agriculture Commissioner, Franz Fischler, in a speech in Alpbach,...
The EU Agriculture Commissioner, Franz Fischler, in a speech in Alpbach, Austria, on August 26th 2003 on the theme of globalisation, referred to the phenomenal growth which has occurred in world production, world trade and per capita income over the past 40 years. However, he noted that unregulated free trade can have a large number of negative effects, especially through increasing the gap between rich and poor: 'in spite of the vast gains in world per capita income, over 50 countries are today poorer than they were 10 years ago.' Commissioner Fischler highlighted the need to find new ways of dealing with globalisation, and stressed the importance of ensuring that any new WTO agreement would bring 'a better deal for developing countries'. He called for more targeted initiatives such as the EU's 'Everything But Arms' initiative in favour of least developed countries. In reporting this speech the USDA GAIN Report argued that Commissioner Fischler was rejecting the full opening up of EU markets to developing country products on the grounds that unregulated free trade increases income disparities and would only help the most competitive developing countries, thereby wiping out export possibilities for weaker developing countries. Comment: This statement by Commissioner Fischler needs to be seen both against the background of the slower pace of CAP reform (arising from the June 26th 2003 agreement) than the Commission had initially proposed and the EU's wariness of opening up its agricultural markets in a context of currency volatility, which can seriously throw out EU projections as to the required levels of domestic support to maintain the price competitiveness of EU producers.