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
Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)
Ecological intensification of agriculture
09.09.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Heavy construction machinery is the focus of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s latest advance in additive manufacturing research. With industry partners and university students, ORNL researchers are designing and producing the world’s first 3D printed excavator, a prototype that will leverage large-scale AM technologies and explore the feasibility of printing with metal alloys.
Increasing the size and speed of metal-based 3D printing techniques, using low-cost alloys like steel and aluminum, could create new industrial applications...
Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.
Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...
Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.
Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.
“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...
With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...
30.09.2016 | Event News
29.09.2016 | Event News
28.09.2016 | Event News
30.09.2016 | Materials Sciences
30.09.2016 | Earth Sciences
30.09.2016 | Life Sciences