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Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Signs of EU paradigm change on agricultural subsidies vs. development aid

Germany’s European Union delegation suggested lowering the regional bloc’s agricultural subsidies to boost EU foreign assistance during a Brussels visit this week by State Secretary Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, who was in town to discuss Europe’s international cooperation with European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and other top EU officials. Europe’s practice of subsidizing its farmers and, in essence, shielding them from international competition is incoherent with international development goals, the politicians told Beerfeltz, who works for Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to a press release. Brussels lawmakers are currently drafting the EU’s next multiannual financial framework, which covers 2014-2020. Many economists and aid experts argue that reducing agricultural subsidies and trade barriers would spur development and alleviate poverty and hunger around the globe. Industrialized countries, including the United States, have so far resisted bold action, however, for fear of negatively affecting domestic food producers.

Source: Devex