Spatial Environmental Evaluation of Alternative EU Agricultural Scenarios for Mediterranean Countries

Peter Nijkamp and Gabriella Vindigni

DOI: 10.2190/6NWP-CD5Y-51DQ-NEFV


In this article we will investigate the impact of different EU policies that aim to meet the target specified in the UNRAA (Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture) of 1994. In particular, we will analyze which possible additional reforms are needed to make the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) compatible with the GATT-WTO agreement, seen from the perspective of a possible operation of a Free Trade Area between the EU and Mediterranean countries. It is at present expected that under this pressure the EU will set new policies through which the removal of barriers to trade in agricultural products should be achieved. The question raised in our article concerns the consequences of the reform brought about in the EU document Agenda 2000 on economic, social, and environmental conditions among different regions or countries of the Mediterranean area. It should be noted that the current interests in proper land use analysis have arisen from the general awareness of the specific geographic features of sustainable development. Particularly in land use planning, much emphasis is at present placed on designing plans that are more favorable to goals of multi-functional use, rather than for merely agricultural use as in the past. Consequently, the choice of methodological tools based on a multi-assessment approach can be critical in developing new policy initiatives that are to be implemented from a sustainability perspective. In this article on an assessment of the Free Trade impact at the spatial level of Mediterranean countries, we will deploy a methodological framework that involves the use of modern multicriteria analysis, in particular the Generalized Regime Method. The article will explore the usefulness of this method by applying it to clusters of countries in the Mediterranean area with a view to support proper land use management on the basis of different policy scenarios. The article will end with a discussion of the changing scene of policy analysis for spatial sustainable development.

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