When ten Eastern European countries join the EU next year, internal trade will increase and the structures of the agricultural and food sectors will change in both old and new Member States. This was the message of JOHAN SWINNEN, Professor of Agricultural Policy of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, addressing delegates at the opening of the Nordic Association of Agricultural Scientists (NJF) congress in Turku, Finland, last Tuesday. Swinnen is one of the world’s leading experts on the Agriculture of Eastern European countries and has been consulted by their governments, the EU Commission and the World Bank on issues related to economic reform in the area.
Food exports from the old Member States to those now joining the Union are already over ten times the level a decade ago, and imports twice as high. The range of products traded between the countries may change, and some food production sectors may grow while others decline, but on the whole both sides will win, Swinnen assured the meeting. He said that the tough membership conditions and the accession process, which has taken years, have swept aside fears that the old member countries will be flooded with cheap bulk foods from Eastern Europe as soon as the barriers are pulled down. According to Swinnen, the need for reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) expressed in the ongoing Mid-Term Review stems mainly from the World Trade Organization (WTO), not from EU enlargement. The need for export subsidies, which the WTO opposes, has been reduced by allowing the new Member States only limited milk and sugar quotas.
However, Swinnen considers it a contradictory arrangement that for a transition period of 10 years the new member countries may convert part of their rural development support into direct agricultural subsidies. Although studies show that the agricultural problems of both new and current EU countries are structural in nature and cannot be solved with subsidies, farmers and policymakers remain more eager to get support for individual farms than to invest in rural development as a whole, said Swinnen.
Jukka Kola | alfa
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy