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Abstract

The present contribution relates to the development of the CAP from it's creation in the 60's to it's last reform in June 2003. On the one hand, this reform has been designed to respond to the challenge of financing the EU enlargement despite the CAP budgetary restrictions. On the other hand, it is obliged to respond to the demands of the society. This last reform shows outstanding similarities with the agriculture policies reforms undertaken in Switzerland in the 90'. 'Cross compliance' (direct payments bound to eco-logical conditions) and decoupling of domestic support measures are surely among the most significant similarities of the two reforms. Although quite a significant price gap remains, the UE and Swiss agricultural policies are constantly drawing nearer. The bi-lateral agreement and the common interests in the WTO negotia-tion will certainly intensify this process.

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