A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
Focus on issues

People are talking about the Momagri White Paper

January 9, 2017

One of the works of reference on the CAP “The Common Agricultural Policy, a shifting policy” published in 2008, co-authored by Jacques Loyat and Yves Petit, has just been republished by the latter and the French public publishing service, in a version updated in December 2016. In this new version entitled “The Common Agricultural Policy at the heart of European integration”1, Yves Petit, Professor of Public Law at the Faculty of Law in Nancy, and amongst other things director of the European University Centre in Nancy and member of the Science Committee of the rural law review, suggests putting the CAP into perspective, from its origins to the present day, underlining the essential role of this policy in European integration. In his introduction he reminds us that the CAP “was a powerful instrument for European unification. Although its budget is diminishing, the policy remains of primary importance and regularly occupies the front page of European news”.

As we enter the debate on the CAP post-2020, Yves Petit raises some questions on this policy, which he calls a “crossroad policy”, at the intersection of other EU policies. In a first chapter he presents the CAP’s historical foundations and then devotes the second part to the CAP’s current provisions. Finally, in the third and last part of the book, Yves Petit looks at the Common Agricultural Policy’s prospects for development and he rightly points out: “the liberal tendencies and the minimum regulation, emblematic of the current CAP, reduce the possibilities for action and make it difficult for European agriculture to face crises”.

So how can this harmful evolution of a European project be stopped? For Yves Petit it is clear that “to get back on track, the CAP must get back on the job in the perspective of post-2020”. The academic also as what the post-2020 CAP will look like. Among the avenues for CAP evolution cited by Yves Petit, our proposal figures prominently2.

In the section devoted to the Momagri White Paper “a new strategic direction for the CAP”3, the academic recognizes that “this entrenched point of view is understandable, as well as the new strategic direction that it proposes”. Using an expression from our White Paper, Yves Petit concedes that the CAP is in a “strategic cul-de-sac”, “which means it is not able to give real added value to the budget devoted to it”.

Referring to the current CAP, Petit reiterates our argument in this sense:

“Four major criticisms can be addressed: it does not take into consideration price instability and crisis management; the decoupling of aid ignores economic realities and is synonymous with the withdrawal of public authorities; greening and convergence hinder the founding of a European agricultural strategy; the CAP has turned into “a bureaucratic monument that undermines the European agricultural model”.

“Though severe, this criticism seem nonetheless justified in several ways”, he acknowledges. “The current CAP does not guarantee farmers any income, which is one of the objectives of Article 39 of the TFEU [Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union]”. “For this think tank”, he continues, “decoupled aid must be considered a hindrance to competitiveness, because it increases production costs”. Finally, he discusses our various measures which he considers “innovative” because they function in particular according to a “counter-cyclical logic”.

Following the publication of our revised White Paper, we are satisfied that our analyses and recommendations are being increasingly put forward. In addition to presenting our proposal, Yves Petit presents our website at the end of his work. Lately, the British agricultural journal Practical Farm Ideas, also ranked Momagri as one of the top farming organizations4. This popular review, which has close links to UK farming colleges and universities, presents Momagri as “an international agricultural think-tank based in Paris, with a team of eminent agricultural economists with considerable influence on policy and development in Brussels and elsewhere”.

To conclude, we will leave the final word to Yves Petit, who quite rightly points out that it is important to “remember that the CAP was a founding project for European integration and the only policy embodying integration for many years. The EU should not lose sight of this and urgently needs a CAP that will enable it to respond to challenges that are both European, in order to make Europe more attractive, as well as international because it is undeniable that European agriculture responds to a global requirement”.

It is in this spirit of reconquest and in this aim that Momagri will continue to put forward proposals on all fronts.

1 La Politique agricole commune (PAC) au cœur de la construction européenne, Yves Petit, Institutions & politiques, réflexe Europe, la documentation Française, 2016
2 L’agriculture européenne face aux crises, in Chapitre 2, les défis de la future politique agricole commune, page 156
3 To download our White paper follow this link http://www.momagri.org/PDF/Momagri-A-new-strategic-course-for-the-CAP.pdf
4 https://www.farmideas.co.uk/useful-links.html

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Paris, 16 June 2019