Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

A distinct lack of transparency

Following the progress made on Common Agricultural Policy reform the other day (and it was progress, even if not as much as many would have liked), there remains much confusion. As CAP Health Check asks, who voted for what?

Common Agricultural Policy budgetThe same (invaluable) blog has all kinds of details on the fall-out from the deal – a deal in which, once again, France appears to have acted the petulant child and, from pure selfishness, scuppered reforms that the EU sorely needs. Because it wouldn’t be fair for France to get any less than 20% of the single largest chunk of the EU budget, would it?

And so, once again, a much-needed serious overhaul of one of the fundamental aspects of the modern EU is put off for a few more years. Instead we get yet another compromise that pleases no one. Just as with the last attempt to reform the CAP back in 2003. Just as with the Constitution. Just as with the Treaty of Nice.

Am I a cynic to think that the reason the big decisions keep being put off by a few years every time (the next attempt to reform the CAP will come in 2013) is that our dear politicians are aware of their short terms of office, and are hoping that come the next round of negotiations it’ll be somebody else’s problem?


  1. Once again, a power carve up fundamentally shaped around the entrenched “Europe of Nations” orthodoxy.

    Outcomes like this utterly discredit the widely held notion that the European Commission dictates policy?

  2. Europe needs reformist democracy, accountability and transparency, not (intergovernmental) diplomacy if it is to become a viable actor in the 21st century.

    This said in spite of the present (powerless) agricultural committee of the European Parliament being a disappointing collection of special interest stooges.

    By the way, Jean Quatremer in Coulisses de Bruxelles on the Commission presidency ahead of the European elections 2009 should be read by every EU citizen. Most disheartening.

  3. You’d think, wouldn’t you? No matter how many times the supposedly all-powerful Commission fails to get its way, no matter how many times its (often rather sensible and frequently deregulatory) reforms are blocked by a member state (usually France), the Commission remains the source of all evil.

    It’s the same attitude that sees any unpopular EU initiative as being spawned by the unelected Commission, despite pretty much every Commission initiative being first proposed (and usually drafted) by the governments / civil services of the member states.

  4. So how would you get France to play fair ?
    I would (as you guess) pull out and stop sending the money. That`ll produce a reform.