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The impact of the simultaneous MFF negotiations on the European Parliament's influence on the 2013 CAP reform

Alan Matthews

IIIS Discussion Paper No. 453

This paper explores whether, and how, the linkage with the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) negotiations affected the European Parliament's ability to influence the outcome of the common agricultural policy (CAP) reform negotiations which took place between 2011 and 2013. Specifically, the paper seeks to answer three questions. How were the legislative issues relating to the CAP included in the European Council's MFF conclusions resolved? Did the inclusion of CAP-related issues in the MFF conclusions weaken the EP's influence on those particular issues relative to other issues negotiated in the trilogue process? How did the sequencing of the MFF and CAP negotiations affect the outcome of the latter? The paper argues that the Parliament's insistence that CAP negotiations should only begin after the MFF budget numbers were known worked to strongly favour those holding a status quo-oriented on the reform proposals while disadvantaging those who sought more radical change in the orientation of the CAP. It also contends that the Parliament's ability to exercise its co-decision powers on the CAP issues included in the MFF conclusions was more limited than for other issues. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the linkages created between the MFF and CAP negotiations for future CAP reforms.

Keywords: European Parliament, co-decision, ordinary legislative procedure, common agricultural policy reform, multi-annual financial framework
JEL code: Q18

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Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).