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Thursday, June 12, 2003

Whither the Future of Agricultural Reform

This has some of the 'feel' of the particularly British vision of things European. But, that having been said, if there is any reality behind the story this is going to make the Doha round even harder. It also smacks of the horse trading which too often characterises how things get done in the EU. And the small nations get left out in the cold.

Radical reform of the European Union's common agricultural policy and long-awaited plans for an EU takeover code face derailment by an informal deal reached between France and Germany.

The agreement is believed to have been discussed by Jacques Chirac, the French president, and Gerhard Schröder, the German chancellor, at a dinner in Berlin.Under the deal, Germany would back French efforts to water down plans to overhaul the EU's €43bn a year of agricultural subsidies. France in turn would support German proposals that could scupper the latest plan for an EU takeover code - a measure that has divided EU governments for 14 years. Such a Franco-German tie-up on two crucial but unrelated, issues is a blow for Tony Blair, the prime minister, who has been striving to secure alliances with other large EU members.
Source: Financial Times

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