The CAP reform had been on the EC agenda for several years, however the Community appeared powerless in dealing with the situation, especially when the Uruguay Round of negotiations created an additional level of complexity. Conceptual tools can help unravel this complexity. Policy networks capture the interplay between various actors and institutions. Each has strategies and strives for its own interests. The Commission and the Council of agricultural ministers were important actors in this on-going process of negotiation which characterizes the EU decision-making process. Coalitions are also a key element in explaining the process and outcomes of the CAP reform and the agricultural negotiations in the Uruguay Round.