EU policies and global food security
This paper in the journal Global Food Security reviews evidence on the impact of EU policies on global food security, focusing on several EU policy areas: agriculture, bioenergy, food standards, trade, and development (food aid). Old concerns were related to the detrimental impact of EU farm subsidies, food aid and tariffs on poor countries’ food security. New concerns relate to impacts of EU food standards and bioenergy policies. The EU policies which created the largest distortions on global markets have been substantially reformed over the past decades. Overall, the review explains that in many areas the impact of EU policies on global food security is less obvious and more complex than often argued. That said, there are still causes for concern. First, when the EU adjusts its tariffs downwards to protect its livestock producers in case of high feedstock prices, it contributes to rising world prices and price fluctuations. Second, while the EU biofuel policy may enhance income and reduce malnutrition, there remains concern about the impact of the expansion of palm plantations. Third, EU food standards have a major impact on trade and global value chains. At the same time they create obstacles and opportunities for developing countries to benefit from access to EU consumer markets. It is necessary that local actions be considered with their global impact. For that purpose, economic modeling of EU agricultural, environmental and trade policies is required in order to complement traditional sustainability impact assessments by assessment of global economic effects. The working paper can be found here.