Sicco Mansholt was a farmer, a member of the Dutch resistance during the Second World
War, a national politician and the first European Commissioner responsible for Agriculture.
Mansholt’s ideas laid the basis for the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union,
one of the most prominent policies since its founding days.
Having witnessed the horrors of the Dutch famine at the end of the Second World War,
Mansholt was convinced that Europe needed to become self-sufficient and that a stable
supply of affordable food should be guaranteed for all.
The most important element in Mansholt’s plan for the early Common Agricultural Policy
was to encourage productivity in agriculture. The policy implied systems where farmers
were guaranteed a certain minimum price for their products, providing incentives for them to
produce more. His pro-European determination and strong vision for the future, coupled with
a will to build on a shared future, identified him as a true European during his lifetime.