Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



Twenty-five years ago, the center of power for agricultural policy lay firmly in the national capitals. With the signing of the Treaty of Rome, that authority began a gradual flow from the Member States to the institutions of the EEC, particularly the Commission located in Brussels. The transition is not yet complete and has not been without its setbacks, but most Europeans and all the governments of the Member States now accept and support the reality of a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The innovative steps taken by the EEC in attempting to weld the agricultural economies of the several states into a whole have profoundly affected the way each farmer in the EEC operates his business. Proposed major structural changes portend even more profound repercussions in the farming community. The success of this transition may be attributed in part to the particular deftness and skill the Commission has shown in accepting its responsibilities. Credit for any success must also go to the European Court of Justice. The Court has persistently insisted that Member States yield to the goals of Community policy even when the Member State, in a moment of national expediency, might wish to forego the more painful burdens of the transition.