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Valentin Zahrnt

Like a delicious apple, tasty, healthy, that’s how Europe should look to its citizens. Instead, many citizens feel that something is rotten with the EU – and abstain from the elections for the European Parliament or vote No in EU-treaty referenda. The CAP sits as a rotten core that affects the entire project of European integration. It incarnates the wasteful and bureaucratic face of the EU that alienates its citizens, and the bickering about financing and distribution of CAP subsidies undermines European solidarity.

Of the many reasons to strive for CAP reform, the vision of a better Europe is one that speaks particularly strongly to my heart. Another is that CAP reform will have beneficial effects well beyond Europe. It can become a signal for smarter agricultural policies around the world, and promote freer trade on an even playing field that is not distorted by subsidies. Agricultural policies must also become much more effective for the protection of the climate and our environment. The CAP is entirely out of touch with this challenge to humankind.

Some words on my background: I hold a Ph.D. in economics and work as a Research Associate at the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE). I also work as an independent researcher and consultant (Zahrnt Consulting & Communication).

This website is supported by ECIPE and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). None of these organizations influence the content of the site. What I write expresses my personal convictions, which are founded on available scientific analysis. I always welcome criticism, and will be grateful for challenging arguments and literature references.

If you are promoting reform of the CAP, I would be delighted to assist you. Feel free to contact me with any questions about strategies, actors, and issues in the reform debate. I am also happy to contribute open editorials or other texts to your publications.

I am grateful to all the people who have helped to shape this site with their suggestions. Special thanks go to Fredrik Erixon, Director at ECIPE, for his backing and to Alwyn Spencer, Lucrezia Tuis and Anna Augustyn for their help with the different language versions.

Best regards,
Valentin Zahrnt