Can European Common Agricultural Policy, or ‘CAP’, meet society’s expectations, and if so, how?
Brussels is launching a public debate on this, to run until June, with the findings to be presented at the end of the year. The EU-wide goal is to contribute more to developing intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş said: “It’s about keeping farmers incomes somewhat stable. There has to be an incentive to produce something other than food. The environment has to be taken into account better, including climate change questions. Employment has to be maintained in difficult rural areas. Based on these objectives, we’re going to define repartition criteria.”
The diversity of wealth and conditions of agriculture in the EU’s 27 Member States are important factors to be considered.
The CAP consumes the second-highest portion of the EU budget — in 2009 some 56 billion euros, 42 percent of the common funds. It was 70 percent in 1984, when the community had fewer than half today’s members.
Brussels says since agricultural policy affects all Europeans, it is not just a matter for experts — it is worth taking the time to gather everyone’s ideas.