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State aid

In the context of the common agricultural policy, this refers to financial assistance made available by a government of a member state to its farmers. However, in order to ensure a level playing field for its farmers within the European Union, in principle member states are not allowed to provide state aid to their farmers.  The two exceptions to this rule are when the payments are of a low value or when they have been authorised by the Commission following an application by the member state concerned. In those cases where a member state has provided state aid to its farmers which, in the view of the Commission, undermines the principle of a level playing field, the farmers may be required to pay it back to the government.

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