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The Perfect Storm

The Political Economy of the Fischler Reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy

Edited by Johan Swinnen

For decades, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union survived many attempts to abolish it, and it acquired a reputation for being virtually impossible to reform in any meaningful way. Finally, during the tenure of Franz Fischler as European Commissioner for Agriculture from 1995 to 2004, the most radical reform in the policy’s history was implemented. Defying the skepticism of friends and foes, Fischler managed to fundamentally transform the nature of the CAP.

This book is the first to review the reforms that were implemented, to analyze how they came about, and to explain which forces made them possible. It brings together perspectives from inside and outside the policy community, including from those closely involved in the policy debates, and an interdisciplinary perspective from economists and political scientists. The authors are senior policymakers and well-respected academics.

Contributors include Christophe Crombez (University of Leuven and Stanford University), Wyn Grant (University ofWarwick), Christian H.C.A. Henning (University of Kiel),Tim Josling (Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Stanford University), Rolf Moehler (formerly of the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission), Alessandro Olper (University of Milan), Corrado Pirzio-Biroli (RISE Foundation), Jan Pokrivcak (Slovak Agricultural University), and Barbara Syrrakos (New School for Social Research).

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