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IMPACTS OF AGRICULTURAL TRADE LIBERALIZATION BETWEEN THE EU AND MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES (EU-MED AGPOL)

The overall objective of this project is to estimate and describe the impacts on European countries of agricultural trade liberalization in the Mediterranean region. The major changes to be expected are increased EU imports of fruits, vegetables and olive oil and increased EU exports to non-EU Mediterranean countries of cereals, meats, and milk products. Estimation of changes in exports of cereals, meats, and milk products will be done using a well-established sector model. For fruits, vegetables and olive oil, available quantitative models are not sufficient to properly capture the complexity of the phenomena involved (many different products, various seasonal patterns, complex detailed trade regimes). Expert panels for the Mediterranean countries with substantial export potential will be used to complement modeling approaches done at the country level. These expert panels, assembled on the basis of CIHEAM/IAMM's extensive network of contacts in agri-business, production, academia, etc. throughout the region, will be asked to estimate what the likely changes will be under different liberalization scenarios, which will then be used to estimate impacts on the EU's producing regions and budget. The project has nine work packages that characterize the agricultural and agro-industry sectors in Mediterranean countries and the EU (1 and 2); describe and quantify the EU protection systems for the same products (3); develop specific liberalization scenarios (4); estimate the production and export potential for each Mediterranean country (5); quantify changes in European and Mediterranean production, imports, and exports (6); examine interaction with world markets and international negotiations (7); estimate changes in European production, incomes, budgets, social changes, etc. (8); and disseminate results (9). The consortium consists of well-known institutions from EU member and candidate countries, from other Mediterranean countries.