Grupy interesu w rolnictwie Unii Europejskiej
Interest Groups in the Agriculture of the European Union
W artykule przedstawiono cechy charakteryzujące grupy interesu w rolnictwie Unii Europejskiej. Należą do nich: liczebność (stanowią one znaczny odsetek wszystkich organizacji lobbistycznych); branżowość (większość z tych grup działa na rzecz określonej branży); oraz struktura (zwykle jest to zrzeszenie organizacji narodowych).
In agriculture, similarly as in other sectors of the economy, development of pressure groups at the community level was closely connected with the evolution of the European Communities. Already in 1993 the number of lobby organizations officially recognized by the European Commission totalled 525. Groups linked to agriculture and the development of agricultural areas constituted one third of the above figure. Such significant participation of agricultural Euro-groups is the result of the specific character of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) providing for the considerable participation of EU authorities in the shaping of an agricultural market, and especially of huge financial allocations of the Union towards the functioning and development of this market. CAP is financed from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) and consumes over 50% of the EU budget (for example in 1996-55%). Agricultural Euro-groups are as a rule federal organisations associating national or local groups of interest. Undoubtedly COPA/COGECA is the most powerful and influential among them. It consists of two cooperating committees: COPA (Committee of European Agricultural Organisations) established in 1958 and COGECA (Central Committee of European Agricultural Cooperatives) established in 1959. COPA associates 29 farmers organisations from the whole Union while COGECA associates 17 with the further four being affiliated. COPA/COGECA have been very active on the European arena holding regular meetings with the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, are often asked to voice their opinion and do it willingly of their own initiative. COPA/COGECA try to present their official position on every issue relating to the interests they represent. They also wish to actively participate in the CAP reforms, an example of which is the document dated February 2002 under the title "Our Vision of the Future". European Confederation of Agricultural and Food-processing Industry (CIAA) is another powerful pressure group. It acts on behalf of EU food and beverage producers. It was established in 1982 in the wake of secession of the Commission of Agricultural and Food-Processing Industry acting within UNICE. Among its priorities are: limiting barriers in the internal trade, ensuring the best possible conditions for export of their products outside the EU borders and monitoring of quality and prices of raw materials delivered to the agricultural and food-processing industry. National organisations of producers and organisations of the agricultural and food-processing sector are members of the Confederation. Through the Co-operation Committee CIAA has also been representing interests of 14 international companies in this sector.(original abstract)
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