The paper explores transformations in agriculture during the period 1995–2015 and shows their impact on rural landscapes in the case of Austria. When Austria joined the European Union in 1995, this meant a minor gash in agricultural politics, from broad support of smallholder agriculture to a programme of modernisation and rationalisation. Austrian politicians defined this shift as a process of “ecological modernisation” (Fischler et al. 1994), incorporating agri-environmental schemes as instruments and modifying existing programmes of direct payments. The survey forms the groundwork for a discussion on landscape effects of the CAP as an “ecological” modernisation programme and possible impact of the CAP-reform 2020.