Trade ministers from Africa and other developing countries have warned the EU that there can be no successful conclusion to the new WTO round unless Europe agrees to greater cuts of its farm subsidies.
The EU farm ministers agreed on a radical reform of the
Union's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on 26 June. Under the
agreement, the EU will introduce a single farm payment system which
will no longer be linked to the volume of production.
The EU believes that the reform will give Europe
a strong hand in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations on
the Doha Development Agenda, starting in September in Cancun,
However, trade ministers from Africa and other
developing countries, meeting in London on 7 July, have criticised
the CAP reform deal as unsatisfactory for the world's poorest
countries. The reform failed to cut guaranteed prices which would
have allowed the EU to open its market for products from the
The opposition from the developing countries to
the EU's farm subsidy system threatens to disrupt the WTO talks in