Evaluation of Agricultural Policy Reforms in the European Union

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This report provides an overview of the main characteristics and structure of the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its developments in the last 25 years in a changing environment within and outside the EU.

Drawing on material presented at the OECD Workshop on the Disaggregated Impacts of CAP Reform, held on 10-11 March 2010, and model-based scenarios, it analyses the impacts of policy changes on production, trade, land use, farm structure, the environment and some aspects of rural development, using changes in the level and composition of OECD indicators of support, notably the Producer Support Estimate (PSE).

This report further suggests improvements in the market orientation, competitiveness and risk management at all levels of the food chain, and pleads for clarifying the link between policy measures and objectives through better targeting, and strengthening evidence on which to base policies.

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Overview of Developments in the European Agricultural Sector

As a result of successive enlargements of the European Union, its agricultural sector has become larger and more diverse. The European Union is the largest importer of agro-food products and the second largest exporter after the United States. This chapter begins with a brief look of the evolving role of agriculture in the economy of EU member states. It analyses developments in farm production, land use, productivity, price levels and variability, and provides an overview of developments in the characteristics of farms and farm households. It also provides an overview of EU agro-food trade patterns.

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