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October 4, 2002

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The new European rural policy: Can it replace the CAP?

Vicki Swales

As the European Union stands on the brink of enlargement eastwards, the need for a rural policy that can deliver economic prosperity, social progress and environmental protection has never been clearer. But, the inability of the current major rural policy – the CAP – to deliver these objectives has never been more apparent, even though it commands over half of the EU’s total budget.

This report explores what progress has been made to date in establishing a new architecture for the CAP – the so-called Second Pillar of the CAP. It asks whether this policy instrument, on which so much hope is rested, is really up to the job and makes clear recommendations for future policy reform.

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