Globalising Hunger

Food Security and the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
19 December 2011

An analysis of how the EU Common Agricultural Policy and its external trade policy increases import dependency and undermines food security in developing countries, contributing to the escalating food crisis.

After several rounds of reforms, the European Union’s (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is once again facing a comprehensive overhaul. By 2013, the current CAP will come to an end, yet the debate over its future has already begun. The discussion over the €57 billion spent on the CAP today – amounting to more than 40 percent of the EU’s budget – takes place against the backdrop of a dramatic worsening of the global food crisis, associated with rising and more volatile food prices.1 For 2010, the number of hungry was estimated at 925 million people, up from 833 million in 2000-2002.2 Although the Common Agricultural Policy strongly influences the state of poverty and food insecurity in the world, its external dimension is barely taken into account in the current debate.