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Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Date Posted:
12/22/2003


A New Constitution For Europe Examined & Explained By Northern Ireland’s First Elected MEP Dr Ian R K Paisley - Part Four


PART FOUR
Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley

WHAT ABOUT THE CAP?

The Aims of the Common Agricultural Policy are to

  • increase productivity
  • ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural community
  • stabilise markets
  • assure the availability of supplies
  • ensure that supplies reach consumers at reasonable prices

It has three guiding principles

  • A SINGLE MARKET
  • COMMUNITY PREFERENCE
  • FINANCIAL SOLIDITARY

In June 2003 significant reforms to CAP were agreed by EU Agricultural Ministers to pave the way for Enlargement.

WHAT ABOUT THE EURO?

In the EEC, the leaders in Europe were determined to lock their currencies together.  Initially this was in what was called ‘the snake’ between 1969 and 1975.  Then from 1979 to 1993 this process became the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).  Now we have their successor, the Euro.

And, this has resulted in even slower economic growth.  Since the introduction of the Euro, or Single Currency, the twelve countries in the Euro-zone have together seen their economies expand at barely 1% per annum.  The three countries outside the zone here done significantly better at 2.3% (Britain, Denmark, Sweden)

The EU is not a naturally single currency area.  History, language, social structure and culture all play a part.

In the Euro-zone in the summer of 2003 8.8% of the labour force was registered jobless.  This compares to 5.1% in the UK.  In France the figure was 9.1%, in Germany it was 9.4% and in Spain 11.3%.

In population terms this means that within the Euro-zone with a total civilian labour force of just under 140 million, a little over 12 million were registered unemployed.  Add to this hidden unemployment (those forced into early retirement, long term sick, benefit recipients etc) and this figure is realistically likely to rise to 18 million, more than 13% of the labour force.

THE GROWTH AND STABILITY PACT

At the Dublin Summit 1996 limits public borrowing of all the Euro-zone economies was limited to no more than 3% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and required that total state borrowing should be more than 60% of GDP.  The Commission has power to impose harsh penalties on any country failing to comply with the Pact.  The result is nervousness and a further demand economic spiral.

THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK  (ECB)

This is run by bankers appointed for 8-year non-renewable terms.  Their change is to keep inflation below 2% and impervious to any democratic pressures.  The ECB has failed to meet its target.

ENLARGEMENT AND THE EURO

The ten new Member States who will formally join the EU will be obliged to join the Euro and conform to the SGP.  Their monetary policies will be run by the ECB.  Most of these new member states have large agricultural sectors, which are going to cause massive problems for the Common Agricultural Policy budget.  Serious reform of CAP has been postponed until 2013.

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