The EU & Agriculture

EU economies are experiencing major financial difficulties, at present with a number of Eurozone economies effectively bankrupt and having to rely upon economic bailouts. 

Within the EU there are many countries that have the potential to stimulate economic growth through agriculture. This neglected resource has the potential for providing food, jobs and increased financial stability. 

Many countries have chosen to develop their economic growth by attracting technology industries or other business ventures.

In the current climate, many companies have laid off thousands of workers and have closed many of their foreign locations. 

In this scenario countries can utilize agriculture to strengthen their economies. These countries can produce enough food products to export to countries that are unable to produce enough of their own food. With the use of technological advancements in the area of agriculture, many countries can expand and increase the type of foods that they can produce. Simply, food demand continues to increase and more sources need to be developed to meet this growing demand.

In 2010, the EU spent €57 billion on agricultural development, of which €39 billion was spent on direct subsidies. Agricultural and fisheries subsidies form over 40% of the EU budget. Since 1992 (and especially since 2005), the EU's Common Agricultural Policy has undergone significant change as subsidies have mostly been decoupled from production. The largest subsidy is the Single Farm Payment.

Historically, the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) emphasised direct subsidies for agricultural produce. To reduce price distortion, the connection between payments and specific crops was removed; instead, a "Single Farm Payment", which subsidised farmers on a per-hectare basis, was introduced in June 2003; although farmers may now attempt to claim subsidies for more land than they actually have. This "decoupling" of subsidies means they are accepted in the "Blue box" category of subsidies in the Agreement on Agriculture, in line with international agreements to reduce market-distorting subsidies and price controls.

National governments within the EU make their own arrangements for implementation and for paying subsidies to farmers.

Currently Euro186 per hectare is available to Romanian farmers, this is made up of EU and Romanian subsidies.