In the six weeks since Commissioner Phil Hogan launched a wide-ranging consultation on modernising and simplifying the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) on 2 February, more than 25,000 respondents have already taken the time to have their say on the future of food and farming in Europe. The consultation is open for a further six weeks until 2 May, and then the hard work of analysing and assessing the many thousands of responses can begin ahead of a conference to present the results planned for 7 July in Brussels.
The consultation, which takes the form of a questionnaire, gives citizens and organisations with an interest in European agriculture and rural areas the opportunity to potentially shape the future of the policy. In parallel, the Commission is currently gathering evidence about the performance of the current EU farm policy on the ground, focusing on many of the same issues covered in the questionnaire. These include its coherence with the Commission’s ten key priorities (including its economic and social impact), its effectiveness in helping to manage risk and its environmental impact and wider compatibility with Europe’s commitment to tackle climate change and meet the sustainable development goals.
The conference planned for 7 July will be the first opportunity to share the results of this process with the wider public. The results of the public consultation will be publicly available via the Commission’s website.
The information gathered will then be used to shape the Commission’s proposals on the future of food and farming in the EU, in particular how the current policy can be made simpler and more modern in its approach. A communication from the Commission, together with the impact assessment, is due to be published by the end of the year. New legislative proposals will come at a later stage.
More details of the consultation process can be found in the Q&A.