The hidden drivers of the legislation of the Common Agricultural Policy – the case of the 2013 CAP reform

Imre Fertő1,2, Attila Kovács3
1 Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Economics, Research Centre for Economics and Regional Studies, Budapest, Hungary
2 Kaposvár University, Faculty of Economic Science
3 Kuwait College of Science and Technology


Fertő, I., & Kovács, A. (2019).The hidden drivers of the legislation of the Common Agricultural Policy – the case of the 2013 CAP reform. Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science, 25(2), 223–231

For decades, the European Council took the dominant role in formulating the agricultural policy and legislation of the European Union. Nevertheless, debate about the legislative influence of the European Parliament has intensified with the gradual empowerment of the EP in the decision-making processes of the EU. The Treaty of Lisbon represents a key milestone in this process as ordinary legislative procedure was through this treaty extended to cover the Common Agricultural Policy. This article investigates the legislative influence of Members of the EP in the 2013 CAP reform using a novel dataset of EP amendments. The article makes a threefold contribution. First, it applies structural equation modelling in the context of EU decision-making and food policy legislation. Second, it adds to the European agricultural and food policy debate by investigating the underlying factors of legislative success through the creation of latent variables, which permit observation of the combined impact of similar variables. Third, it incorporates analysis of a number of new explanatory variables related to the Member States that MEPs represent, including agriculture-related variables. The weak fit of the predefined, experience-based model suggests that the legislative outcomes of the 2013 CAP reform were influenced by non-observable or non-measurable factors.

Keywords: Common Agricultural Policy; European Parliament; co-decision (ordinary legislative procedure); structural equation modelling

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