PARIS, June 26, 2012 /CNW/ - The momagri SGPA indicator has come to
expose a little known fact: Agricultural subsidies in the U.S. are
quite higher than the figures usually given, and very largely exceed
those granted by the European Union (EU) and its member-states.
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In fact, over $172 billion were appropriated in the U.S. in 2010, against €76 billion in the E.U.,
or €422 per capita in the U.S. against €151 per capita in the E.U.,
i.e. close to three times more. This observation goes against
stereotypes claiming that European farmers are the most assisted. And
the gap continues to increase since 2008.
On the other side of the Atlantic, policies aim to stimulate and secure
agricultural output, from farmers to consumers, in a counter-cyclical
manner, i.e. in taking market conditions into account. One other
specific feature is domestic food aid (54 percent of SGPA in 2010),
generally considered as a social subsidy, which in fact represents an
active subsidy to the American agricultural and agro-food sector, and
is assessed at more than $94 billion. The ongoing reform--the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012--is considering changing income protection mechanisms, but is
maintaining the strength of an arsenal of subsidies.
In the E.U., farm support mostly includes direct subsidies for farmers'
living standards (64 percent of SGPA in 2010), especially incorporating
the Single Payment Schemes (SPSs), which account for 47 percent of all
farm support paid in 2010. The support rationale is geared to farmers,
but is decoupled from production and market prices. The European
policy thus does not have the tools to react efficiently to price
instability. And the post-2013 CAP reform proposed by the European
Commission makes matters worse, without meeting the challenges of
In the light of this study, momagri calls on European leaders to
incorporate in the future CAP genuine regulatory mechanisms that
stabilize prices and agricultural incomes, while introducing more
efficiency in E.U. spending.
Otherwise? The E.U. must take on increased food dependence and all its
consequences in social, financial and political terms. The process has
already begun, since the European Union has by now doubled imports
during the past decade, and seems to import the equivalent of the
production of 87 million acres of farmland, i.e. the size of Germany.
1. Or €130.5 billion (exchange rate US$/€ 130,5 milliards € = 0.755, as
per OECD, 2010).
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Contact: Dominique Lasserre, +33(0)1-56-58-51-57, firstname.lastname@example.org