An Emerging Anti-Reform Green Front? Farm Interest Groups Fighting the ‘Agriculture 1980’ Project, 1958-1972

C.S. Germond*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Ten years after the creation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the so-called Mansholt Plan was the first attempt at radically transforming European agriculture and modernising agricultural structures. Drawing upon archives of national and Community-level farm interest groups as well as records of the European Commission, this article analyses the reactions of farm interest groups to the Mansholt Plan and their strategies to oppose it between 1968 and 1972. It explores the resistance of farmers and their professional organisations to agricultural change. In particular, the article sheds new light on the reasons behind the spectacular failure of the plan and examines the long-term consequences of that failure for farm interest groups, the Commission and the member-states. It scrutinises initial reactions from farm organisations, examines the debates over the family farm (a core economic and cultural element of European agriculture), and discusses the national and transnational lobbying and protest strategies used by farmers to oppose the plan. The article contributes to a deeper understanding of the origins of transnational societal mobilisation in post-war Western Europe and highlights the impact of national and European interest groups in EC-level policy-making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433
Number of pages450
JournalEuropean Review of History / Revue européenne d'histoire
Issue number3
Early online date28 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2015

Cite this