Policy makers in Washington, D.C. and in Brussels, Belgium are struggling with how to restructure agricultural support programs. Todd Gleason, the agricultural reporter WILL radio, interviewed Tassos Haniotis, the Director of the Economic Analysis, Perspectives and Evaluations Directorate in the Directorate General for Agriculture of the European Commission on December 5, 2012.
The European Union Center at the University of Illinois hosted Tassos Haniotis for a talk as part of the EU Common Agricultural Policy project coordinated through our EU Center of Excellence Grant by Department of ACE Professor David Bullock.
A video and a partial transcript of the interview are below.
European Commission -- The European version of the U.S. Farm Bill is called the Common Agricultural Policy, CAP for short. It was, and remains, one of the common themes that ties all European Union nations together, says Tassos Haniotis.
The focus of the CAP, says the Greek-born Director of Economic Analysis, Perspectives and Evaluations for the European Commission, is now pointing towards environmental and territorial balance.
It's about land use and keeping populations in place as much as anything.
The current proposal for the next version of the CAP is aimed at doing what the free market doesn't do, says Haniotis. It wants to balance the free market production of a private good - food, and the production of a public good - the environment. He says the CAP would achieve this balance by introducing three new green standards. Keeping permanent pasture land permanent to promote bio-diversity. Again, the three green proposals would provide incentives for keeping pasture land, for growing at least three crops on any one farm, and an ecological payment for things like grass-ways, riparian areas, and maintaining hedges and stone fences.
The CAP is under discussion now in Brussels, Belgium.
Tassos Haniotis is the Director of the Economic Analysis, Perspectives and Evaluations Directorate in the Directorate General for Agriculture of the European Commission.
He previously held posts as Head of Unit in the Agricultural Policy Analysis and Perspectives unit and the Agricultural Trade Policy Analysis unit in the same Directorate General, as Member and subsequently Deputy Head of the Cabinet of former European Commissioner for Agriculture Franz Fischler (with respective responsibilities the preparation of the 2003 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, and the agricultural chapter of the Doha WTO Round and the EU-Mercosur negotiations), and as the Agricultural Counsellor of the European Commission’s Delegation in the United States.
He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia, USA, and a B.A. in Economics from the Athens University of Economics and Business, in his native Greece. He also spent six months as a visiting Fellow at the Centre for European Agricultural Studies, Wye College, University of London, where he studied EU-US agricultural trade relations in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations.