From the People’s Democratic Republic of Europe…

Last week the European Union Council meeting for Agriculture and Fisheries met, and discussed the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). A number of European ministers have already taken the opportunity to start an offensive to protect the funding of the policy with the next rounds of negotiation of the European budget coming up later this year.
The CAP is one of the oldest and certainly the most important European policy swallowing up around 48% of the EU budget. Its intentions of food security and supporting rural communities may be well natured, but can such a large proportion of the EU budget justifiably go towards a sector of activity that employs such a relatively small proportion of the population. With competition from East Asia, European economic prospect lie with high technology sectors, would the EU budget not be best served in education and research and development than agriculture?
Not only does the PAC not make food  cheaper, just means that we pay for it partly at the checkout of the supermarket, partly as addition taxes, and in the case of the UK and Germany subsidising food prices and production in other European countries since we are net contributor the the EU budget, it also means that the markets are heavily regulated by Brussels. In the latest encroach the French Agriculture minister  Bruno Le Maire, and the European Commissioner Dacian Ciolos in a joint press conference have put on the table increasing regulation of  food markets, especially mink, and cereals, and with the later, deliberate action to increase the market price. In the 18th century did we really fight the corn laws to bring down grain prices, to let our European partners impose on us, measures with similar effect through european integration?
Moreover the EU parliament is now also looking into pouring even more money into the sector, looking at requesting extra funds to restructure the aforementioned milk market, with some estimates at around 300 000Euros.
We have not fought to throw off statist control and economic planning for the European Commissars to force us into a new regulated markets that resemble more soviet interventionism than liberal market economy! These new budget negotiations need to be the opportunity to push for a reduction of the PAC, as seemed the intent of Blair once until he crumbled before French pressure.


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