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CAP and Fog of War

6.17.2005

The CAP debate is becoming a tad irksome for those of us who genuinely believe in the EU as a body. FOllowing the French rejection the fog of war descended between the british and the French and allowed everyone to forget the collective failure of 25 states to connect the biggest peace porject in history to its citizens. the EU cannot live off its historical heritage forever and the rejection in France and Netherlands proved that. the european body politic has moved on from WWII but the EU hasnt.
Doubtless many in the EU blogosphere are quite upset, the main cruz of the nest year or two should be getting the EU back to a position of public legitimacy and support. the only way open to them before was through economic prosperity, however now some new ideas are called for in light of the Euro and common interest rates etc. The economy is simly difficult to kickstart for the EU, they need the member states to actively pursue employment policies which national politicians are unwilling to countenance.
The CAP issue is in and of itself not up for debate, the agreement on the CAP budget sealed in 2002 effectivley makes this a quixotic tilt at windmills for TB and Chirac. To be fair TB never asked for this, he hasnt gone hunting down CAP in any explicit manner, chirac is playing petty politics and againg doing more harm than good to the EU project. The issue at hand is and should be a combination of the EU budget and also EU direction.
on the Budget:
1. The EU in the course of enlargement has created a disparate group of countries in wealth terrms, the budget should turn its focus to redistributing wealth along and through the common market into the countries that need to be brought up to speed. this would mean some pain for other countries feeding of the structural funds, ours included. however the reasons for devloping strong state structure has never been so serious in this world. we must do all we can to promote integration of new members and equalisation of standards of living and wealth throughout the EU. Inequality and a rich and poor europe are not options to be considered no matter how much states may wish so.
2. in promoting the development of the new members, the eu cohesion fund and CAP are going to be integral in bringing states in line with the rest of the EU. the solidifying of existing states and the generation of growth in the East is not a matter of competition for western Europe it is a matter of imperative to create an internal market dynamic of growth which can be managed and regulated, becoming a driver for EU wide sustainable growth.
3. Exisiting projects on War crimes and standardisation and also existing projects which operate as a buffer between the peoples of the EU and corporate interest/exploitation.
Regarding the CAP/BRitish rebate, i cannot even claim to be an expert on CAP and i do hear a number of people who consider themselves to be experts criticise it for its Pork-barell traits. Having said all of that i was talking to a member of the Dept of AG and he put it quite succinctly why we need CAP, foood security and maintenance of the country/agri lifestyle.
CAP is not an investment in some glorified past lifestyle of farming etc, it is an attempt to retain secure european foodsources and not be behoven to world markets and other countries for our food. it may not be perfect by REalpolitik dictates that we must maintain some form of subsidy for those who produce food and would otherwise migrate ot the urban centers and remain unemployed there. this is a serious and fundamental issue for EUrope going forward for the CAP is exploited by an awful lot of people to ensure maximum profit. thus reform is needed however compltetely scrapping it is a little extreme. i shall return to this more fully later on.
Red Rover

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