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EU governance structures for the multifunctionality of agriculture

Schader, Christian and Stolze, Matthias (2005) EU governance structures for the multifunctionality of agriculture. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick .

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This report on EU governance structures for the multifunctionality of agriculture represents Deliverable 6.1 of the MEASCOPE project.
Executive Summary
In order to adapt to external and internal necessities, Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) the emphasis is gradually shifted from market price support measures to direct payments and rural development policy. This results in a stronger focus on the multifunctional character of agriculture, which comprises the fact that the agricultural sector not only produces food and fibre, but also shapes the landscape, provides environmental benefits and contributes to socio-economic aspects of life in rural areas. The way how this new policy area of rural development is governed on the various levels, is an important factor for its success.
The objective of this report is to reveal these governance structures for rural development policy and to reflect the current research in this area. It gives a brief introduction to the general governance debate and how governance is discussed in Europe. The second chapter focuses on the policy process, which is divided into the preparation-, decision-, implementation-, and the control phase. The third chapter analyses rural development policy within two steps. Both of them take account of the measures of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/1999 and of the LEADER initiative. The first step describes the governance structure of rural development policy reviewing official EU documents. The second step provides an overview on the scientific debate on governance in the rural development policy.
The allocation of competences in rural development policy was often criticised. Decisionmaking-, financial-, and implementation responsibilities are shared differently among the levels.
According to the Concept of Fiscal Federalism this hinders the efficiency. Furthermore, regional and local actors lack competencies in designing rural development policy referring to the local conditions.
While alternative approaches like local decision-making committees are not foreseen in the mainstream rural development scheme, the LEADER initiative explicitly supports such groups. The majority of papers evaluated the bottom-up approach and the integrated concept of rural development of the LEADER programmes as an innovative and effective policy tool.
Others question the excellent evaluation results and see problems in the lack of democratic
legitimacy of the LEADER local action groups (LAG).
On the other hand, the implementation of agri-environmental and rural development policy is practiced very flexible across Europe. This leads to a north-south gradient of how these common policies are implemented. The report questions how Europe can overcome this gradient and predicts an even stronger gap between the EU-15 and the new Member States.
To implement the rural development policy in a common way and to adjust it at the same time to the specific needs in the different regions in Europe is still an unsolved governance problem.

EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:MEASCOPE, Common Agrocultural Policy, CAP, MEASCOPE, support measures, Politkfolgenabschätzung, Sozioökonomie
Subjects: Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Socio-Economics > Rural sociology
Related Links:http://www.mea-scope.org/, http://www.fibl.org/en/switzerland/research/socio-economics.html
Deposited By: Schader, Dr. Christian
ID Code:20333
Deposited On:06 Jan 2012 09:25
Last Modified:08 Oct 2013 16:41
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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