EU statements in Cancun
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CTA. 2003. EU statements in Cancun. Agritrade, October 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52661
Speaking in Cancun on September 9th at a Family Farmers' Conference on...
Speaking in Cancun on September 9th at a Family Farmers' Conference on International Trade, the Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler set out clearly the essential elements of reforms to the CAP. He explained how 'decoupled support is central part of the new CAP, discouraging over-production, but encouraging market orientation, and the production of high-quality food'. He explained why 'decoupled support also means less trade-distorting support' and claimed that since 1992 the EU had cut its most trade-distorting forms of support by 70% and its export subsidies by 75% so that the EU was now well placed to cut tariffs further. He returned to the theme that the important issue was not the volume of agricultural support but its trade-distorting characteristics and argued that complete liberalisation would only benefit the most advanced developing countries and would undermine poorer developing countries. Other statements made in Cancun reiterating EU positions include: Trade Commissioner Lamy's address to the Global Unions Conference; Commissioner Fischler's opening press conference speech; Commissioner Lamy's speech to the 5th WTO Ministerial meeting; Commissioner Fischler's September 12th press statement; and the closing press statements by Commissioners Lamy and Fischler. Comment: The key contentious issue arising at Cancun was: how should trade distortions be measured? Clearly the Commission's view as to what constitutes less trade-distorting and non-trade-distorting forms of support was not shared by developing countries. From an ACP perspective the key question is: what impact do EU agricultural aid programmes have on production and trade outcomes? Will EU aid programmes allow EU producers to sell more price competitively into markets which ACP producers could serve more competitively in the absence of EU agricultural support programmes? Unfortunately the European Commission has yet to get to grips with such issues in a convincing way, apparently preferring to set up straw men (drawn from the campaigning slogans of NGOs) which can then be easily destroyed.