Contradictory proposals for future CAP by German SPD

In recent days two different proposals concerning the Common Agricultural Policy were released by the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and led to confusion about the party’s general position.

The first one was part of the paper “Der Weg aus der Krise – Wachstum und Beschäftigung in Europa” by the so-called “Troika” of the SPD (consisting of party chairman Sigmar Gabriel and vice-chairmen Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Peer Steinbrück). They call for a restructuring of the EU budget by reducing agricultural payments in favor of expanded spending for growth, employment, research and education. According to the “Troika” it is not acceptable to spend more than 40% of the EU budget for agricultural purposes while there is strong need for a future growth agenda. Therefore, they support a European growth pact that should contain programs against youth unemployment as well as a new regulation and taxation of financial markets.

At the same time Dr. Wilhelm Priesmeier and Thorsten Wehner, SPD spokesmen on agricultural policy, emphasized the importance of a strong CAP in the next EU budget. According to them, agriculture is the backbone of the rural areas and an enhancement of competitiveness of its production is essential.

In a reaction to these contradictory positions, Ilse Aigner (CSU), German minister of agriculture, criticized the SPD for their “disorientation”.

The paper of the “Troika” can be found here: “Der Weg aus der Krise- Wachstum und Beschäftigung für Europa”. It also contains other proposals for the EU budget (e.g. the role of the EIB and the EU’s several funds).

The position of SPD’s agricultural spokesmen is given here: SPD Agrarpolitiker betonen Bedeutung der Landwirtschaft für die ländlichen Räume.

About Andreas Schubert

Andreas Schubert studied Economics at the University of Bayreuth. His fields of interest are political economics, development and transformation economics as well as economic history.