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Title: The accession of Croatia to the European Union in the light of the Common Agricultural Policy-evolution, implications and terminology corpus in English, Croatian and Italian
Authors: Engel, Maja
Supervisore/Tutore: Gasparini, Alberto
Cosupervisore: Havel, Boris
Issue Date: 26-Apr-2010
Publisher: Università degli studi di Trieste
In light of the negotiations and the accession of Croatia to the European Union in a very near future, a dissertation on this topic presented itself as a very interesting opportunity. Agriculture has been (in case of past candidate countries, now Member States of the EU) and remains one of the most complex, discussed and controversial elements of the said negotiations. The PhD candidate, being a selected official translator and interpreter of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integrations and working in particular in the framework of negotiations conducted in Chapter 11 - Agriculture and rural development and Chapter 12 - Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, observed the need to give an overview of the social and historical context in this respect, describe the most recent developments, as well as to provide for a comprehensive terminology corpus to be used as reference for the translation of a very large number of documents in this sector in order to avoid any imprecision, lack of consistency and ambiguity of terms used. Interpretation and full understanding of EU acts by policy makers is crucial if those acts are to be transposed and implemented at the national level accurately and correctly, and a faithful and correct translation thereof plays a decisive role in this process. The PhD candidate was often faced with texts dealing with the same topic, but presenting significant discrepancies in translation approach and terminology (often errant solutions in spite of the existence of very precise terms in target language), which caused frequent misunderstandings between English- and Croatian-speaking participants and experts and unnecessary delays. The candidate also discovered a major lack of general knowledge by Croatian participants and translators regarding the Common Agricultural Policy and its effects on the Croatian agricultural sector, which has sometimes lead to embarrassing situations. Furthermore, failure to use “user-friendly” terminology, as well as to give less complex explanations of different mechanisms has been perceived by farmers as lack of transparency and fuels their mistrust towards the reforms enforced by the Croatian government. The identification and the use of appropriate terms in the target language should help not only to avoid that their meaning is misunderstood, but also to preserve a national language as is by using its existing resources and without recurring to unnecessary foreign words which might only add up to the vagueness of certain concepts, in particular taking into account that the final users required to apply any given act in this area are not policy-makers, but the general public, more precisely farmers.

The choice of restricting the area of interest to agriculture has been done on the basis of the candidate’s specialisation therein and due to the fact that agriculture has been one of the most challenging issues of the enlargement of the EU and it will continue to be so in the context of the future enlargements. The present dissertation and its glossary in particular are the result of three years of participation in negotiations at different levels and technical staff meetings, as well as of an equally long translation work and analysis of a large number of EU documents and national legal acts (including ordinances, orders and instructions) by means of which they are transposed into the Croatian legislation, as well as reports and memorandums. The trilingual approach has been selected owing to the experience gained in translating different kinds of EU documents, the English version of which (English has been selected as the source language by the aforementioned Ministry) sometimes presents ambiguities and inconsistencies, which requires a parallel use of the same document written in another language. The choice of Italian as the “control” language is a personal choice of the candidate, who often uses a fourth language, Slovene, for its similarity to Croatian as target language since both belong to the South-Slavic language group. However, Slovene has not been included in the glossary due to the candidate’s passive knowledge only.

The present dissertation consists in four main parts. The first part (Chapter 2) offers an overview of the history and enlargements of the European Community - from the aftermath of the World War II, the gradual enlargement to different European countries that have very soon realised the advantages of “standing together”, evolution of European institutions (how they started and how their powers and responsibilities evolved over time) and the gradual formation of the European Economic and Monetary Union, to the dramatic events of 1989 which gave rise to unprecedented social and political changes of the 20th century and changed forever the face of the world and the course to which the European Community was heading. A separate sub-chapter is dedicated to the fifth enlargement – the largest and the most difficult so far as it included 8 former communist countries in 2004 (plus Malta and Cyprus) followed by Romania and Bulgaria in 2007. The said sub-chapter provides also for an overview of the accession process in general and certain difficulties encountered both by the new Member States and current candidate countries since the accession to the EU is not a goal per se, but an instrument to facilitate the implementation of reforms necessary to complete the transition, which goes far beyond the mere accession. The following sub-chapter deals with Croatia, in particular the timeline of its accession process and the main obstacles therein, which to a certain extent are somewhat different with respect to other candidate countries.

The third chapter deals entirely with the agriculture – from the creation of the Common Agricultural Policy, the introduction of the Single Payment Scheme in 2003, representing one of the most substantial reforms in this respect, and the adjustment of the SPS due to the 2004 and 2007 enlargements to countries with a significantly lower standard and level of wellbeing, as well as with a very different economic background which has influenced their agriculture for almost half a century. The introduction of the SPS was an attempt to make the aid schemes in agriculture fairer and simpler. However, the second goal had to be sacrificed for the sake of the first one, which is reflected in numerous exceptions and derogations granted to single Member States on the basis of their particular national situation. An important sub-chapter herein is concerned with the enlargement and its impact on the agriculture of both old and new Member States. For farmers in the EU-15 the enlargement meant the reduction of EU aid, while for farmers in candidate countries it meant higher competition, but also the accessibility of EU funding. Each candidate country defined the conditions thereof in the framework of accession negotiations, which meant that some of them got a better deal than the others. In this sub-chapter particular attention has also been given to the illustration of some of the effects the CAP has had in the Central and Eastern European countries and different kinds of aid and pre-accession programmes available as central part of the CAP in order to prepare them for what is coming after the accession.

The fourth chapter is concerned with the Croatian agricultural sector and it gives a general overview of its geography and climate, as well as certain statistical data regarding the current level of development. A sub-chapter is dedicated to a very important aspect, that is the legacies of the socialist past of the country, characterised by collectivism, state ownership, planned production entirely inconsistent with the market demand and low consideration for the environmental protection, but also to certain phenomena, such as the considerable fragmentation of agricultural land, the source of which is to be looked for beyond the past 50 years. A paragraph is also dedicated to cooperatives, which played a significant role in the Croatian agricultural sector before the World War II and which might become the key of the future development in this respect. The last sub-chapter describes the possible consequences and challenges before the Croatia agriculture in view of the accession of this country to the EU. Some of them are common to new Member States and Croatia can certainly learn a lot from their experience, but certain issues must be dealt with by Croatia alone as they concern its particular history, culture, traditions and political and social context.

The fifth and the last chapter, which is also the most comprehensive one, is the terminology corpus with appropriate definitions developed by the author of the dissertation during the three-year-long research and containing more than 2100 entries in three languages. This glossary is non-exhaustive, which means that it is not a definitive one, but it will continue to be expanded and amended in parallel with the ongoing translation of Community documents.
Ciclo di dottorato: XXI Ciclo
Keywords: Common agricultural policyAccession of Croatia to the EUEnglish-Italian-Croatian glossary
Type: Doctoral
Language: en
Settore scientifico-disciplinare: SPS/11 SOCIOLOGIA DEI FENOMENI POLITICI
NBN: urn:nbn:it:units-8948
Appears in Collections:Scienze politiche e sociali

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