For a long time, DG-Agri was known as a French fiefdom with a French head of the bureaucracy, many French and Francophone staff and even a canteen that was supposed to serve the best food in the Commission! For some time now DG Agri has had a Spanish head, but on 1 January he will be replaced one of his deputies, French national Jean-Luc Demarty.
However, this may not be a sign of a return to old style agricultural politics. An alternative view is that it reflects the decreased significance of DG Agri with the real power over the future of Europe's farmers now in the hands of DG Trade. Indeed, Le Figaro has claimed that Paris lobbied without success to get a French head of trade - the job has gone to Irishman David O'Sullivan.