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13.01.2011 General posts
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Food security seminar

Does the EU need agricultural tariffs and subsidies to ensure its food security? The food price surges in 2007/08 and the 2010 spike in wheat prices have pushed this question into the headlines. In December 2010, the FAO food price index even exceeded its 2008 peak.

In the light of these developments, it seems plausible that the Paris Declaration, agreed by 22 member states, claims that only an ambitious, continent-wide agricultural policy can safeguard Europe’s independence. The European Commission and the European Parliament justify their support for the CAP in similar terms. But food security is a weak argument for a ‘strong’ CAP.

In a new study, Valentin Zahrnt takes a step back from the alarmist rhetoric and looks at the facts: How much food does the EU produce? To what extent could it step up production? How reliable are food imports? How vulnerable are EU citizens to food price increases?

You are cordially invited to a lunch seminar with Valentin Zahrnt and a discussion about food security. A forthcoming paper on the politics and prospects of the post-2013 CAP reform will also be available at the event and feed into the discussion.

Venue: ECIPE, Rue Belliard 4-6, Brussels
Date: Wednesday, January 26
Time: 13:00-14:30
RSVP by January 25 to

PS: I handed out a survey at the seminar and promised to put the results online. But the number of responses was too small for a separate blog post. In short: most respondents thought that the risk to EU food security was low and that the EU should not stimulate production to feed the world. And those who thought otherwise still held the same views after the conference.