EU agricultural policy is a constantly evolving policy. In the earliest days of the European Community, 57 years ago, the emphasis was on providing enough food for a Europe emerging from a decade of war-induced shortages, subsidizing production on a large scale and buying up surpluses in the interests of food security. In present times, the focus of EU agricultural policy is to get food producers (of all forms of food from crops and livestock to fruit and vegetables, or wine) to be able to stand on their own feet on EU and world markets. In the beginning, the common agricultural policy (CAP) was based on three principles: a single market, Community preference and financial solidarity between the Member States of the Community. This framework offered farmers guaranteed prices for their produce, protected them against competition from imported products and subsidized exports. It also had the beneficial effect of strongly boosting agricultural production and giving the Community self-sufficiency as regards food. With time, however, disadvantages became apparent because guaranteed prices led to overproduction, subsidized exports and the accumulation of stocks financed by the Community budget (1). This situation benefited, above all, bigger farms, while farm incomes remained, on average, lower than in other sectors.