The competitiveness of the European agricultural and food industries has been one of the key concerns of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) since its creation in 1958. This objective was reaffirmed in the proposals made for the CAP reform post-2013. Yet, this competitiveness became fragile during the last decade, as we can see in the increase of the EU-27 trade balance deficit from 7 to 11 billion between 2000 and 2009. In France, agricultural production has been stagnating for 15 years, productivity has failed to increase and imports of food and agricultural produce are progressing more rapidly than exports.


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