The agreement has been criticized by civil society groups for reducing customs protection for small farmers, an important source of income in developing countries, while allowing rich countries to continue subsidizing agriculture in their own countries. This article discusses the nature of food insecurity in poor countries, its causes and how to address it. National agricultural policies are disciplined by World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, in particular the agricultural agreement (AoA) resulting from the Uruguay Round negotiations concluded in 1994. The AOA provides countries with great flexibility in implementing a set of economically effective policies to achieve food security goals. However, it limits the application of certain policies, such as price support and input subsidies, which can be costly and ineffective and also have negative effects on the environment. Some developing countries are under pressure to relax WTO disciplines when such policies are implemented in the name of food security. Past experience in Europe and the United States shows that, in addition to economic inefficiency, the use of price support and input subsidies can also create tensions between trading partners due to the resulting distortions of international trade. The 1947 GATT initially applied to agriculture, but was incomplete, and the signatory states (or “contracting parties”) excluded this sector from the scope of the principles set out in the general agreement. During the period 1947-1994, members were allowed to use export subsidies for primary agricultural products and to impose import restrictions under certain conditions, so that major agricultural raw materials faced trade barriers in unusual proportions in other sectors. The road to a fair, market-oriented agricultural trade system has therefore been difficult and time-consuming; and the negotiations were finally concluded during the Uruguay Round. Agriculture has a special status in WTO agreements and trade agreements (signed in 1994 and entered into force on 1 January 1995), with the sector having a specific agreement, the agriculture agreement, whose provisions prevail. In addition, some provisions of the agreement on the application of plant protection measures (SPS) also concern agricultural production and trade.
The same applies to the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) with respect to the protection of geographical denominations. In addition, the provisions of the agreement on agriculture are complemented by the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (OTC) and by technical assistance mechanisms. At the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, in 2013, ministers also agreed on a range of agriculture-related issues. The CAP is also affected by land concessions granted to several multilateral and bilateral agreements under several multilateral and bilateral agreements, as well as unilateral exemptions granted under the Generalized Preference System (GSP). These preferential agreements explain the high level of EU agricultural imports from developing countries (3.2.10, Table VI). In view of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), signed in Geneva in 1947, and the world trade organization (WTO) agreement signed in Marrakech in 1994 (OJ L 1994, p. The European Union and its Member States act in accordance with Article 207 (Common Trade Policy) and Articles 217 and 218 (International Agreements) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (5.2.2).