The Czech Republic: a small player in a big field. How to trade better in favor of food security

Cover: The Czech Republic: a small player in a big field. How to trade better in favor of food security

A heated discussion has raged for over two years on the direction of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) regarding the level and criteria for allocating agricultural subsidies and the impact the future CAP reform of 2014-2020 will have on the environment, rural development and related social aspects. Despite being European Union policy, the consequences of the decisions will have far-reaching effects beyond its borders. After all, the policy is not limited only to European (and, hence, Czech) agriculture, even though its main aim is to secure EU citizens sufficient food production and the resulting food security. Rulings adopted as part of the CAP often threaten or significantly undermine the food security of third countries, including some of the poorest nations.

Aware of this effect and the impacts that other European policies have on developing countries, the EU repeatedly undertakes in its treaties and subsequent policy documents to pursue the concept of policy coherence for development (PCD), i.e. to take development aspects into account in the creation of policies that don’t specifically concern development.

The Czech Republic’s foreign development aid is based on this same concept. The approaching reform of the Common Agricultural Policy is likewise a major concern for Czech farmers and other subjects.  The incoherence of agricultural and development policies in previous years has produced problems, and these are only further exacerbated with the proposal for the ensuing reform.

This article therefore aims to expand the debate on the coherence of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy with principles of development aid, to present a current overview of Czech foreign agricultural trade and its potential impacts on third countries and to underscore the necessity of the further promotion of fair market conditions.


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