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On October 12th 2011, the European Commission (EC) has presented a set of legislative proposals intended for a new reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), theoretically on January 1st 2014. Besides simplification and efficacy, the stated objectives are to favour a competitive and sustainable European agricultural sector and to give a boost to rural zones. As innovative as they may be, these proposals are however in continuity with those adopted in the context of the continuous process of CAP reform started in 1992 (the McSharry reform), and continued in 1999 (Agenda 2000), 2003 and 2008 (CAP Health Check). The new proposals, in which the subsidiarity principle features prominently, might lead to a significant reorientation of direct aids between regions and categories of farms, within a given Member State (MS), notably in a country like France where the historical reference model is used for allocating the Single Farm Payment (SFP). By contrast, the allocation of CAP funds between the different MS is only marginally modified.


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