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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
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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 06:30:49 AM EST
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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