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The CAP, more than any other EU policy, has traditionally been seen as the core of European integration. Yet, the interests of the member states over agricultural agenda diverge to an extent that has encroached on the supranational construction and the communautaire nature of this policy area. The 2008 health-check debate has clearly shown a tendency for providing several policy options, which vary significantly the level of agricultural support among Member States (partial decoupling, additional payments within Article 69 of the Council Regulation No 1782/2003). The second pillar of the CAP is treated in fact as an indirect source of subsidies for farmers, instead of improving economic and social development in rural areas. In fact, specific patterns of re-nationalization in this policy sphere can be discerned. Therefore, is the CAP a EU policy in decline? Will the future CAP lose its common character and be replaced by national agricultural policies? The present paper sheds light on the current health-check debate and considers the future perspectives of the CAP. Specifically, national positions of selected old and new Member States on major elements of the health check are examined. In particular, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Poland and the Czech Republic are cited as examples of countries with heterogeneous agricultural sectors. It conclusion, it is noted that growing differentiation within the CAP leads to its marginalization and will also probably lead to its formal re-nationalization. Therefore, the evolution of the CAP from the most common and regulated EU policy to a wide range of possible national implementation systems raises a question about the future of other EU policies, particularly those in the making, like for example the European Security and Defense Policy.


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