How will CAP reform affect developing countries?

The CAP has been reformed substantially over the past decade. The next step will be taken in 2008 and, like the others, will alter its impact on developing countries - but not by very much. Known as the ,,Health Check'', to emphasise that it is aimed primarily to deal with a limited set of known problems, it will not affect EU agricultural trade policy. Reform will have a substantial impact on developing countries only when import tariffs are cut across the board (which might happen if the WTO Doha Round is concluded) with the gains likely to exceed the costs. Until then, the combination of Europe?s protection for agriculture plus preferences for some trade partners will continue to create winners and losers among developing countries although past reforms have reduced the scale of both the gains and the losses.

Dr. Christopher Stevens
Director of International Economic Programmes Overseas Development Institute
London, United Kingdom

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