Preparing for enlargement
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CTA. 2002. Preparing for enlargement. Agritrade, April 2002. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52896
Direct aid payments to new EU member states are to be phased in over a ten...
Direct aid payments to new EU member states are to be phased in over a ten year period, starting in 2004 from an initial base of 25% of the level currently applied to existing EU members. By 2013 new applicant countries will receive the full amount then being applied in existing EU member states. During this period emphasis will be placed on rural development programmes in the applicant countries for dynamic restructuring of existing farming enterprises. This will include special rural development measures intended to assist semi-subsistence farmers to restructure. Initially this will consist of a flat rate Euro 750 payment, which would be conditional upon the submission of a business plan demonstrating the future economic viability of the enterprise. It is felt that this will avoid locking in uncompetitive forms of production and will allow for the dynamic restructuring of existing farm enterprises along more commercial lines. Rural development measures in new applicant countries will also provide assistance with meeting EU food safety and food quality standards. In addition it is envisaged that assistance to improve processing and marketing of agricultural products in applicant countries will also be forthcoming from the Structural Fund. Comment: The movement away from price support to direct aid programmes has greatly facilitated the management of the integration of new applicant countries into the common agricultural policy. It is envisaged that this staggered integration of new countries into the CAP will avoid locking in existing inefficient production structures and avoid the stimulation of high levels of additional new production. The programmes currently being put in place for applicant countries are designed to encourage small scale and subsistence farmers towards more commercial forms of production. This could hold important lessons for ACP countries. As in the EU, support for promoting more competitive export orientated forms of agro-processing activities is also being financed from Structural Funds, which are not subject to such close scrutiny under the WTO provisions on agricultural support.