Why is the Agricultural Lobby in the European Union Member States so Effective?
Name and surname of author:
Zuzana Bednaříková, Jiřina Jílková
agricultural lobby, interest group, rent seeking, Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic
DOI (& full text):
This paper tries to answer the question ‘what is the power of the agricultural lobby, as the interest group which causes that EU member states continue to invest in a costly and ineffective…more
This paper tries to answer the question ‘what is the power of the agricultural lobby, as the interest group which causes that EU member states continue to invest in a costly and ineffective agricultural policy. Mediating interests in the EU Member States, as demonstrated in the case of the Czech Republic, are discussed. Czech agriculture bears the heritage of an extensively collectivised sector. The case study demonstrates the efforts of a new Member State to modernise in the area of professionally mediated interests while at the same time the controversial role of agricultural organisations in the competitive fight for agricultural subsidies. The strong position of the lobby, and agricultural lobbies, is primarily based on the unity and the unilateral nature of their interests, the excellent organisation when promoting these interests, the ability to gain the sympathy of politicians, consumers and tax payers, the existence of relatively small and homogenous groups and, last but not least, their abilities at pointing out the fact that agriculture has an irreplaceable role in society and the national and international economy. The liberalisation of agriculture depends on a successful fall in the importance and voter strength of the agricultural sector and its sympathisers and a balancing of its natural political advantages. Strong elements supporting the liberalisation of agriculture are also sustainable development and modernisation of the agricultural sector and the sustainable economic development, distancing itself from agricultural roots. Generally, it is evident that because of the liberal, even if limited, reforms of theEuropean agricultural policy, the weakening of the agricultural lobby power can be expected.