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Wine in their veins: France and the European Community’s common wine policy, 1967-1980

Chen, Maria X. (2013) Wine in their veins: France and the European Community’s common wine policy, 1967-1980. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis analyses the impact that the European Community had on table wine growers in the Midi region of France in the 1970s. This work is divided into the following parts: the negotiations leading to the creation of the Common Wine Policy (CWP) in 1970, its operation in the early 1970s until its first major crisis in 1975-1976, its drastic transformation from liberal policy to one of restrictive control in the late 1970s, the reaction of table wine producers in Languedoc-Roussillon to these changes over the decade, and the change in political relationships and governance at three levels - Brussels, Paris, and Languedoc-Roussillon - as a result of this process. It argues that the first decade of the CWP changed relationships between different groups at the European, national, and local level in two major ways: first, national French government institutions voluntarily decreased their power over a key national industry – this was the most marked feature in the French wine industry of this time period. Second, the CWP helped facilitate the rise of sub-national and non-state actors in policy circles from which they were previously excluded. Empowered by the new responsibilities given to them by the French government, particularly via a newly-created national office of wine, French vignerons began attempting to bypass the national French bottleneck to the Community and directly lobby European-level institutions, either via their own organisations or as part of transnational endeavours. Given the French government’s particularly adamant control of who represented the country at the Brussels levels in the 1960s, this change in only a decade was a significant shift. In analysing this process, this thesis also makes broader comments on the integration process as a whole, adding particularly to the literature on the Community’s agricultural integration, and is the first comprehensive review of the history of the Common Wine Policy, and the first to make an extensive assessment of the impact on local farmers in the Midi during this time in relation to the European Community’s policies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Maria X. Chen
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > International History
Supervisor: Ludlow, N. Piers

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