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Abstract

The present round of multilateral trade negotiations is still deadlocked over agricultural trade. The European Union (EU) is urged by its trading partners to open its agricultural markets. Economic evaluations of trade liberalisation scenarios unanimously conclude that a substantial opening of agricultural markets is required for a successful (welfare-improving) Doha Round. In this paper, we perform new evaluations to identify precisely the contributions of the European farm policy and to examine the robustness of these evaluations in the representation of this complex policy. Using the same specifications as in major previous studies, our first simulations show that the EU has a major responsibility in delivering significant gains to the developing countries. On the other hand, when we conduct the same experiments with a more relevant calibration and modelling of the European farm policy instruments, the gains that these developing countries may reap from the EU liberalisation are considerably reduced. Accordingly the current charge against the EU is simply inopportune.