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Debate: European Common Agricultural Policy

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Should the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy be scrapped in favour of free trade?

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Contents

Background and Context of Debate:

The Common Agricultural Policy, or CAP, is a complex system of subsidies paid by the EU to farmers. Member states have to contribute to a central pool, which the EU then divides, as it sees fit. Some of these subsidies are actually paid to farmers to stop them farming their land, in order to keep the amount of food on the market low and therefore maintain a good price for food. The main proponents of scrapping the CAP have been the more economically liberal countries, such as the UK, whereas the more socialist countries have been its biggest supporters. In this debate the proposition advocates a complete scrapping of the CAP. The fundamental proposition theme is that the introduction of a free market to European agriculture can only be good for the consumer. The opposition advocates the use of interventionist policies. So this debate is an instance of the classic clash between ‘laissez-faire’ and interventionist ideologies.


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Yes

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No

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Yes

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No

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Yes

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No

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