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Disaggregated Impacts of CAP Reforms

Proceedings of an OECD Workshop

image of Disaggregated Impacts of CAP Reforms

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is an important policy for the European Union and accounts for about 40% of the EU budget. Ever since its inception in 1958, the CAP has been regularly reviewed and adjusted to improve its performance and adapt to changing circumstances. At a time when the post-2013 future of the CAP is being discussed and major challenges such as food security and climate change lay ahead, it is important to review the impact of past reforms and to draw lessons for the design of future policies.

While the studies in these proceedings often take account of national and international market effects of agricultural policies, they tend to focus on the impact of policies on farms and at the regional and local levels. Today, the European Union is composed of very diverse regions that are affected very differently by any given farm policy, depending on the structural characteristics of the farms’ and regions’ economies.

This report collects papers presented at the OECD Workshop on Disaggregated Impacts of CAP Reforms, held in Paris in March 2010, which focused on recent reforms. In particular, it examined the implementation of the single payment scheme since 2005 and the transfer of funds between different measures. Special attention was also paid to reforms of the sugar and dairy sectors with respect to the quota system and the restructuring of both these industries. The papers also look at the impact of the new direct payment system on land use, production and income.

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The economic impact of allowing partial decoupling under the 2003 Common Agricultural Policy reforms

The agreement to decouple European Union (EU) direct farm payments from production and to introduce the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) was formally made by the Council of Agricultural Ministers in June 2003. Due to concerns raised, the SPS provided member states the scope to retain some coupled support and this option was taken up by some member states but not others. This chapter, using conceptual and empirical analyses, assesses whether and to what extent partial decoupling is affecting the single market, and the effect it has on those countries and sectors that have embraced full decoupling. The results of a modelling exercise (using the CAPRI model) highlight that production in coupled countries is higher than would be the case if they had decoupled, and this has subsequent impacts on other EU member states through price and trade effects. This is particularly the case in the beef sector. Though the aggregate EU production and price impacts are generally small, the production impacts on certain member states and regions are more marked. Overall welfare levels in the European Union would have been higher if full decoupling had been implemented, and these gains would have been highest in the countries that remained coupled, particularly France and Spain.

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