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Agrarpolitische Interessen Frankreichs und Deutschlands – Gemeinsamkeiten und Divergenzen unter sich ändernden Rahmenbedingungen

By Heinz Ahrens and Christian Lippert

Abstract

The aim of this contribution is to examine how the French and the German positions on agricultural policy have developed since the foundation of the EEC and what the driving forces were behind. The “general consensus†underlying the EEC treaty, and according to which the common market would be “conquered†by France in the case of the classical agricultural products, could not be translated into practice; for what emerged for these products was not a customs union but a “price support unionâ€. As a consequence French intra-community agricultural exports had to be redirected to the world market. Thus initial positive French income transfers via intracommunity trade were transformed into transfers from the EC budget, an evolution that can be interpreted as a “modification of the general consensusâ€. However, this was not to last long either since the policy of price support, plus the unlimited obligation for the state to purchase any production surpluses, were bound to cause increasing budget costs and an aggravation of international trade conflicts. The fact that in the ensuing discussions on the CAP France favored price cuts while the Federal Republic pleaded for quantitative restrictions, is explained with the help of a partial analysis model. Moreover, the article also explains further divergences between the French and the German agricultural policy positions. In so doing, account is also taken of (a) the modifications of the German positions after reunification and (b) the new accents that have appeared in French agricultural policy after the change in government in 1997.CAP, agricultural policy, European Union, France, Germany, EEC Treaty, price cuts, quantitative restrictions, agenda 2000, Agricultural and Food Policy, Political Economy,

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