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ECPR 50th Anniversary Fund

European Union Agriculture Policy and the Design of National Agriculture Ministries

Environmental Policy
European Union
Policy Change
Trevelyan Wing
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Trevelyan Wing
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Jale Tosun
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Eric Linhart
Technische Universität Chemnitz

Gerry Alons, in a recent contribution to a special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy (edited by Carsten Daugbjerg and Peter Feindt), noted an increasing multidimensionality in the realm of agriculture. Indeed, there is empirical evidence that agricultural policy is more and more linked with climate, environmental, food safety, health, and trade concerns. The European Union (EU), for its part, has attempted to further this trend toward multidimensionality, which is most pronounced in the integration of agricultural and environmental policy. In this empirical study, we seek to determine whether this multidimensionality is likewise reflected in the design of national ministries responsible for agricultural policy. Have ministries of agriculture increasingly merged with other policy domains, and if so, with which domains in particular? This constitutes the first research question guiding the present article. The second, meanwhile, concerns reasons for possible changes in the design of national agriculture ministries. Does the partisan affiliation of an agriculture minister affect his or her institution’s design? To address these questions, we draw on the literature exploring ministerial portfolio allocation and design, and test our expectations through the use of data from all EU member states over a period of two decades. This study will provide meaningful contributions both to the literature on agricultural policy in the European multi-level system and to that of European politics more broadly.
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