The article discusses the problems related to the accession of the Central and Eastern European countries to the European Union in 2004 and 2007. It presents the condition of agriculture in those countries right before the accession, paying particular attention to dual nature of agriculture, where small farms located next to farmers' houses coexisted with large state-owned and cooperative agricultural holdings. The article then describes structural changes in the agriculture of those countries, caused by the transformation of political and economic systems which led to ownership changes. As a result, new types of agricultural holdings appeared with various forms of ownership and different legal status, while the agricultural production decreased. The level and scope of aid for those countries before and after the accession to the European Union were also discussed, with special emphasis on direct payments. The positive impact of the Common Agricultural Policy on agriculture in new Member States was emphasized. However, despite a significant progress made, agriculture in those countries is still characterised by the lower land and workforce productivity than in the EU-15. New Member States, in particular Poland, Hungary and Lithuania, have achieved a significant progress in foreign trade in agri-food products.
Alain Pouliquen, Institut National des Recherches Agronomiques (INRA) France, 147 rue de l'université 75338 Paris Cedex 07, France
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