Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Green space controversy grows

The controversy over the so-called 'Green Space' in the CAP reform proposals is growing: Green Space

A somewhat embattled farm commissioner, Dacian Ciolos, is insistent that the proposals do not amount to set aside. As farm as farm organizations are concerned, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck ...

The farm lobby is up in arms over this proposal and are citing food security arguments advanced by the G20. However, this is not a straightforward food security/productionism versus the environment argument. I am concerned that the Commission has devised a rather blunt policy instrument that would not be very effective in achieving its objectives and would have too many unintended consequences.

Admittedly some of the more subtle policy instruments in Pillar 2 have not always worked well in terms of additionality, i.e., achieving something that would not have been achieved without spending public money. Devising policy instruments that make a difference without too many side costs is not easy, but the effort needs to continue.

The linked report also refers to the enhanced role of the European Parliament in the decision-making process. This may be an advance for democracy, but not necessarily for coherent policies and effective reform.

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