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Common Agricultural Policy

Volume 407: debated on Friday 20 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact on developing country producers of EU enlargement, with particular reference to the payment of production-related subsidies to accession country farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy. [119007]

[holding answer 16 June 2003]: Enlargement will bring important benefits for developing countries. The new member states will take on EU partnership and co-operation agreements, and will therefore provide expanded access for developing countries under preferential and free trade arrangements, the EU's Generalised System of Preferences and the "Everything But Arms" scheme. Overall, enlargement will give access to a larger single market of up to half a billion people, with one set of rules and regulations applying throughout.However, enlargement will not alter the conclusion that the CAP as it stands has a detrimental impact on developing countries. The government are committed to CAP reform as a key element towards their goal of a more sustainable agriculture. A fundamentally reformed and market-oriented CAP would benefit developing countries, as well as farmers, consumers, the environment, and taxpayers in both old and new EU member states.