The changing face of agricultural policy - the Common Agricultural Policy
As a member of the European Union, Sweden's agriculture is covered by the Common Agricultural Policy. Sweden's overall position on the CAP is that it should continue to undergo reforms towards greater market orientation, greater focus on rural policy and solidarity with poor countries.
Agricultural policy up to 2013
On 20 November 2008, the agriculture ministers of the EU decided on the shape of the Common Agricultural Policy up to 2013. The effects of this decision include:
- the redistribution of funds in the agricultural budget so that more resources are allocated to combating climate change and halting eutrophication of the Baltic Sea;
- the decoupling of the majority of direct subsidies by 2013 so that consumer demand drives production;
- reduced use of market intervention and support in order to increase market adaptation and reduce the administrative burden and fees on the EU agriculture budget;
- the gradual phasing out of the system of milk quotas and its complete discontinuation as of 31 March 2015.
The competitive situation of developing countries
Increased market orientation of the Common Agricultural Policy improves the competitive situation of developing countries. Within the ongoing Doha Round of WTO negotiations, the objective is to remove export support and substantially reduce trade-disrupting internal support and customs tariffs on agricultural products. This will improve the competitive situation of developing countries globally and, together with investment in agriculture in developing countries, provide the conditions for increased agricultural production in these countries.