Haas, D: Meeting Future Needs - A comparison of agricultural
Seventy years after the establishment of farm policy in the United States and after almost 50 years of Common Agricultural Policy in Europe the necessity for policy reform is stronger than ever before. Despite fundamental differences in background and methods in the past, the pattern for policy reform tends to be increasingly similar.
Partly due to agreements already signed as well as decreasing socio-economic differences and corresponding domestic constraints, recent policies enacted in the US and EU show fewer dissimilarities or are even pointing in analogous directions.
At the same time, however, the inconsistencies in terms of input-output-balance and energy rationing around the world are becoming more and more pressing. Exhaustible raw materials will sooner or later enforce a less input-intensive form of agriculture and inevitably create shortage and distribution problems.
The alarming degradation of agricultural land already poses serious threats to the conservation of sufficient fertile soils, and projected long-term population growth in excess of the productivity increase in agriculture is likely to exacerbate the problem. Irreversible losses of biodiversity and the disappearance of natural habitats will eventually deprive humanity of the necessary resources to counteract these evolutions.
Although this view represents a worst-case-scenario, to avoid a dramatic outcome it might be necessary to concentrate the efforts to find ways and means for retaining agricultural systems which preserve as much productivity as possible, try to balance markets in the short run by timely limited non-food uses and respect at the same time the requirements of sustainability.
With this study I intend to analyze to what extent European and American Policy is driven by comparable overall concepts and whether there is evidence that the two major trading blocks are moving towards more similarities and a more sustainable form of agriculture.
So far, a similar comparing study can not be found in literature, although it can provide relevant guidelines for appraisement and reform of agricultural policies. The condensed form of the analysis eases a holistic approach and might also help the interested reader saving time while getting an idea of the major goals and instruments of farm policies. Too often, the nearly unmanageable complexity of regulations leads to incomplete and unbalanced perspectives and subsequently to inadequate [...]