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Common Agricultural Policy

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what further action he will take to ensure that the common agricultural policy and international trade rules are reformed in order to promote trade for poor countries. [118302]

As it stands, the EU common agricultural policy imposes high costs on developing countries and is unsustainable as EU enlargement becomes operational. We are committed to reaching agreement by June on the current proposals for reform of the common agricultural policy, as a first important step towards broader EU agriculture reforms in future.Agreement on EU CAP reform and movement of the US position on export credits and food aid are key to ensuring a successful outcome in Cancun. DFID is working hard—both through officials' and high-level meetings—to ensure that the WTO agriculture negotiations don't stall and that current polarisation is overcome. Our objective is a set of trade rules which meet the commitments made in Doha to making this round a true "development" round, by taking adequate account of the special needs of developing countries.