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Structural policy in the EU is ambiguous in its aims and contains conflicting elements. Interventions to ease change are combined with defensive measures that support income and discourage some aspects of adjustment. Structural change is a complex process and the number of farms is an incomplete indicator. Most adjustment takes place without active public assistance. Structural measures at EU level are now mostly within the rural development pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy. Their performance is mixed. However, many countries also have national policies, especially on taxation and land transfer, whose influence on adjustment must not be overlooked.


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