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(p. 308) 22. The Common Agricultural Policy 

(p. 308) 22. The Common Agricultural Policy
(p. 308) 22. The Common Agricultural Policy

Ève Fouilleux

and Matthieu Ansaloni

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date: 28 February 2021

This chapter focuses on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which has long been of symbolic importance to the European integration process. The CAP, which came into force from 1962, is based on three general principles: market unity, Community preference, and financial solidarity. The chapter first considers the early days of CAP and the issue of CAP reform before discussing the policy's objectives, instruments, actors, and debates. It then explains the evolution of the CAP since the 1960s and asks why the CAP has been so problematic for European policy-makers, why CAP has been so resistant to change, and how CAP reform has come about. This chapter also examines some of the challenges facing agricultural policy, as new debates emerge among citizens on the place and the functions performed by agriculture. Particular attention is given to rural development and environmental, transparency, and equity issues.

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