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It's a different Bruges Group (as I just found out). In fact, Cioloş is the French candidate as much as he's the Romanian. Here's what the Bruges Group says on agriculture:
The second observation concerns the increasing importance of the international dimension in our reflections upon the policy issues surrounding agriculture. We have already raised the importance of this by underlining the necessity to guarantee food security, particularly for developing countries, and by highlighting the dangers inherent in an aggressive EU export policy. But since the events of Seattle, it has become abundantly clear that the rise of liberalism is going to provoke much wider mobilization which, in turn, would once more shine the spotlight upon the food question - global governance, the role of international institutions and, beyond this, a sense of the future and of the ability of people to influence the course of history. What future is there in a process of globalization orchestrated by the United States, in which the collective interest adds up to the sum of certain private interests? This question is of concern to all continents, including our own. Then we witnessed the tragic events of September 11 2001. We should not overestimate the scope of the grand resolutions made in this context. But we should take stock of the risk of instability which characterizes the new century. We must reassert the need for global co-ordination of economic policy, for the democratization of negotiation processes, and for the respect of collective interests. We explain below that the emergence of a multipolar world is a matter of urgency. We should encourage the development of regional groupings seen as policy integration areas within which exchanges are stimulated and regulated. Like the European Union, these groupings made up of countries of similar status will participate in the construction of stabilized markets. As for international trade negotiations, they must be organized around one priority: the reduction of inequality between countries, between territories, and between individuals. The fight against poverty rests upon the ability of the countries of the South to preserve markets for their farmers. The European Union must guarantee them this right which it has claimed for itself. And that is where agricultural policy comes in again. The growing importance of concerns about the environment, rural development and food security do not excuse us from renewed reflection upon the organization of markets, mechanisms of trade and protection, and the place of farmers in the world.

A quite succint statement of French geopolitics, at least as practiced under Chirac.

Seriously: WTF??

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 05:55:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seriously: WTF??
Is this what Barroso got reappointed to do? He denies it
Barroso said that he had distributed jobs according to the talents and interests of the individuals, not according to country.
(European Voice)

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 06:26:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well duh. Romania chose someone with the talent and interest for the theme they wanted.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 06:35:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll say straight out that I'm quite pleased, a priori, to see someone with this background and apparent interests appointed to Agriculture.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 06:39:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
distributed jobs according to the talents and interests of the individuals, not according to country.

It would be fun if the EP would foil the Oettinger nomination... but why expect it from the same EP that re-elected Barroso.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 06:47:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So it's the Groupe de Bruges d'Edgard Pisani.

Bruges Group

The Bruges Group is composed of about thirty individuals from different European countries. Created in 1995 at the suggestion of Mr. Edgard Pisani, it is independent of any organisation or institution.

I can see a number of differences with standard French agricultural policy there in the excerpt you quote. What's your WTF referring to?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 06:26:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 06:30:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To the 'multipolar world as a matter of urgency' and the 'process of globalization orchestrated by the USA' and the encouragement of EU clones. Rather too much geopolitics to hinge agricultural policy on. And rather too French.

The EU should focus on stopping the harm it's doing with its export subsidies before considering agricultural policy as a cog in arranging a new world order.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 07:16:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read

nanne:

the necessity to guarantee food security, particularly for developing countries, and by highlighting the dangers inherent in an aggressive EU export policy.

As for US-orchestrated globalisation, I'm dead against, but perhaps that's just me.

Seems to me the EU project is part of a multipolar movement?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 08:07:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to me the EU project is part of a multipolar movement?

Exactly. I fundamentally disagree with that view. I see the EU as a step towards global governance. I think the focus on creating regional blocs elsewhere is inappropriate for many parts of the world and potentially dangerous if it would ever work. I think that the EU should lead the way on a more equitable global arrangement and partner with the developing world at large in doing so rather than trying to divvy up the world in trading blocs.

The rest of the recommendations are fair enough, and for the record I'm also happy to have Cioloş. I just thought the bit on multipolarism and encouraging EU clones was weird in a text on agriculture.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 08:32:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I think there's an approach to agricultural development that looks at the local and the regional (regions may be large). Local development should be firstly about food security in rural localities, while development of regional (smaller sense) markets can offer an outlet for part of the crops grown, against cash. A wider region may organize/stabilize exchanges on a comparative advantage basis (area 1 is better for rice, area 2 for maize, etc).

I think this is above all the reference in that text. They do after all say:

nanne:

We must reassert the need for global co-ordination of economic policy, for the democratization of negotiation processes, and for the respect of collective interests.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 09:56:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What happens when the 'development of regional groupings' is in practical conflict with the 'need for global coordination of economic policy'? You can want both but as a practical matter the first is an existing element of the EU's trade strategy (through EPAs) which exists as a way of restructuring global trade in the absence of a prospect of coming to a global agreement through the Doha round.

As the EPAs seem less harmful than the Doha round this is not a bad thing on account of getting a global arrangement. Better nothing than Doha. But the accompanying construction of regional trading blocs in the service of the EU market is a questionable matter.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 10:33:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
nanne:
in the service of the EU market

I agree.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 10:35:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A multipolar system is a much better description because it allows a gradation of connection between the poles, as opposed to the delineation of territory into impermeable blocs. The latter reminds me of how Africa got carved up by diplomats from Spain, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Portugal on a map that had very little to do with the cultural and tribal realities on the ground.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 08:57:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you look at a terrain map, there are obvious geographical choices for territorial boundaries. But when mapmakers use a river as a territorial line, eg, the mappers forget that a river has two banks - that don't divide people, both banks attract the same people.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 09:04:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That can also be read as an argument for better geographic line-drawing. As Migeru is fond of pointing out, you'd want to go with catchment basins. e.g.

Of course it's all rather more complicated and IMO the best thing we can do is not interfere more, since we Europeans have a long history of screwing things up. Which is sometimes remembered!

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 09:35:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I think nanne's criticism of the EU making a multipolar world a geostrategic goal is that it's as if the EU were asking Kissinger's question about other regions. "If the High Representative wants to phone South America, who should she call?"

Should the EU really be doing that?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 09:21:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's already doing that to itself. Europe is increasingly multipolar as the ancient and modern boundaries become more irrelevant by the year. That's what free movement of goods and people means.

For accounting purposes (who pays and who gets what) those boundaries still exist. But for people (culture) they are far less important.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 09:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think, as I suggest above, that the text is more about creating large regional food markets in opposition to the Doha Round globalising tendency which would see major powers deriving their food supplies from (in some cases neo-colonial) plantation-type agriculture -- than it is about foreign policy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 10:04:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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