Subsidies Survive EU Austerity

Despite a recently agreed to drop in European Union farm spending, agricultural subsidies and will continue to consume the largest part of the EU’s most recent budget.

With the global recession still hitting economies in Europe, and with several European counties embracing austerity measures, the EU has been debating and negotiating decreasing spending and lowering the Union’s operating budget.

Agricultural spending in particular has been target by EU budget hawks. For the past several months, EU nations like the United Kingdom have been pushing the EU to shift spending away from agriculture and towards job creation and stimulus spending.

Despite these efforts, recent EU budget agreements have preserved farm spending’s budget dominance. Farm subsidies will consume about 38 percent of the EU budget between 2014 and 2020, despite some broad reductions in overall farm spending.

French President Francois Hollande presented the decision as a victory for French farmers and rural EU residents, who make up about 50 percent of the European Union’s population. “The relative share of agricultural spending in the European budget will decrease, but I made sure to preserve the funding destined for our farmers,” he said in an interview after the budget negotiations.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer