We analyse weekly calf prices from 2003 to 2009 to assess the impact of two important events which changed the structure of European cattle markets. We find the four European calf markets studied to be integrated. The decoupling of farm payments in the framework of the 2003 reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy is found to reduce prices. We ascertain that the outbreak of the Blue Tongue disease induced a structural change in some of the markets. Using counterfactual scenarios, we provide an indication of the effects resulting from granting member states a high degree of discretion in implementation.