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Internationalising Agricultural Policy: The Interaction between Developments in the GATT/WTO Farm Trade Negotiations and Reforms of EU’s Common Agricultural Policy

European Union
Globalisation
Institutions
Public Policy
WTO
International
Negotiation
Policy Change
Carsten Daugbjerg
University of Copenhagen
Carsten Daugbjerg
University of Copenhagen

Abstract

Internationalization of public policy takes place in the intersection between domestic and international processes in which domestic and international actors seek to establish, restructure or expand international policy institutions to enable international policy coordination. The transfer of political authority to an international institution can be an important factor affecting how domestic policies evolve. At the same, the negotiating parties attempt to shape the international policy institution to align it with domestic preferences and policy models. The decision to include agricultural trade on the agenda of the Uruguay Round (1986-94) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) marked the beginning of a still ongoing internationalization phase in agricultural policy-making. This paper analyses the interaction between the developments in the GATT and WTO farm trade negotiation and the reforms of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) from the early-1990s. The GATT/WTO negotiations, and in particular the pressure from major agricultural trading powers to liberalise farm trade, put substantial pressure on the CAP and forced the EU to embark on a serious of policy reforms which could enable the EU negotiators to give concessions. These reforms in the CAP fed back into the trade negotiations, facilitating some compromises but at the same time setting revised limits on what could be achieved in the GATT/WTO.