Working paper Open Access
This paper discusses the unintended consequences for local communities of major EU-wide policies. It focuses on agriculture-related policies, namely on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with a secondary focus on animal welfare and food safety legislation. A case study of the Greek island of Ikaria is used to explore this theme. More specifically, the case examines the impacts from the implementation of these policies on the livelihoods of traditional goat pastoralists and their relationship with other inhabitants of Ikaria, as well as on the delicate ecosystem of the island. The effects of progressive reforms of the CAP and the introduction of stringent food safety and accompanying animal welfare rules illustrate the ways in which the law and politics of the EU intertwine and translate into unintended consequences such as environmental degradation and the erosion of traditional practices, leading to loss of community cohesion.