SUBSIDIES AND MULTIFUNCTIONALITY IN EUROPEAN AGRICULTURAL POLICY
Multifunctionality is an ambiguous term. On the one hand, it potentially represents a way of dissimulating protectionist interests; but on the other it articulates a crisis brought about by the distinct pattern of growth and social representation linked with agriculture. This paper examines this twofold aspect of multifunctionality and shows that changes determined by the 1992 reform of the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy preserved the interests of the main European grain and meat producers while causing European subsidy programs to become more transparent and therefore more subject to social criticism. As a result, the actual meaning of policies to sustain agricultural income in contemporary societies has come under question. Multifunctionality, from this perspective, represents new demands and new social factors emerging as an expression of the current importance of rural development.