CIMUN Chronicle / Article / 2016

CAPing the budget causes tensions in EU

IPD Article Image - CAPing the budget causes tensions in EU

By Thomas Shanahan, The Hindu

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has caused tension in the European Union. As of 2015, approximately 39 percent of the EU’s budget has been spent on CAP, according to the European Commission. Issues surrounding the topic have become controversial. Some nations continue to support CAP and its current goals and policies, while others do not.

The EU “could put more money into programs,” an Austrian representative said. Most Austrians think the EU is not spending enough money on CAP, he said. “We should promote more innovative technology so we can better support sustainable goals and [a] competitive agriculture sector.”

While many Austrians wish to expand the budget, including CAP programs, others argue it is wasteful. The European Commission reported that CAP primarily benefits farmers, who make up less than 2 percent of the EU population, according to Eurostat. The general public is forced to pay an increasing amount in taxes.

Another polarizing issue is the use of genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs. Citing health concerns and environmental damage, GMOs were banned by the EU.

“I advocate for more organic farming along with sustainable farming including forestry,” the Austrian representative said.

The ban on GMOs has generated other issues. Due to the ban, foreign nations continue to produce and export them. When these nations attempt to sell their genetically modified food, EU nations must refuse to accept them, increasing international tensions.

On Nov. 30, the EU council will meet to solve current issues regarding CAP, along with addressing various topics at hand.

Image: Lindsey Eyink, Flickr