WHAT ROLE IS AGRICULTURE EXPECTED TO PLAY IN EUROPEAN COMMUNITY?
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Social expectations as to the role of agriculture vary, ranging from the production of large quantities of inexpensive food, an improvement in the quality of foodstuffs and their guaranteed safety, participation in international exchange, respect for the needs of the natural environment and protection of the landscape to participation in the development of rural areas, etc. Functions ascribed to agriculture are the resultant of political choices that need to be harmonized and updated in the enlarged Europe. These choices relate to many levels (national, European, international) at which decisions are made and various initiatives are launched. This article presents several scenarios of evolution. The first of these scenarios is based on the concept of liberal economy and leaves agriculture to be piloted by enterprises from the food and agricultural sector. This tendency may produce undesirable effects for the agricultural word and upset the territorial and environmental equilibrium. The second scenario, based on the reformed Common Agricultural Policy, is not free either from contradictions between economic and social function of agriculture and it entails the risk of a deepening conflict of interests between the member-states. The third scenario, which is inscribed in the perspective of lasting development and which emphasises the service function of agriculture and valorization of territory in accordance with the logic of multifunctionality, seems to be an ideal proposal.
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