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Abstract

Through the comprehensive regulation international agricultural trade, the GATT Uruguay Round was already a significant move towards the elimination of market distorting factors/barriers. But the Agreement of Agriculture was only the first step on this long path and at the same time certain internal contradictions were generated: Due to the “dirty tariffication” the heavy protectionist countries could still impose high import duties; The mechanism for limiting domestic subsidies has not proven to be efficient; Certain hidden subsidies- such as export loans – were not included in the liberalisation system etc. The new WTO Round starting at the end of 1999 offers again the chance to further reduce the market distorting barriers. However, the planned main areas of discussion on the agenda of the Round bear potential conflicts: With regards to “market access” the point of view urging further liberalisation needs the application of the “Swiss formula” and also the increase of preferential market access; Those accused with protectionism will obviously raise and turn to other – non-trade related areas (such as “European Agricultural model”, environmental protection, animal welfare etc.) to avoid the multilateral liberalisation of agricultural trade and the elimination of their domestic subsidies; Domestic subsidies shall be in the centre of attention and besides the questioning of “Blue box”, the re-definition of the “Green box” might occur. The paper analyses the main positions and possible impacts with concentrating on the principle actors (USA, EU, Cairn-group). Special attention is paid to the unique problems CEECs (transitory economies). The main conclusion of the presentation shall be that Millenium Round will probably be multiannual negotiation process, could lead to the further reduction of trade distorting factors despite the debates and compromises. Unfortunately, the comprehensive and complete multilateral liberalisation of the international agricultural markets – due to the conflicting interests of the main actors - multilateral liberalisation of international agricultural markets – is still not seen to be realistic,

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