The European Commission today launched the first phase of the modernisation and simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with the opening of a three-month public consultation. The contributions received will support the Commission’s work to define the agricultural policy priorities for the future. A modernised and simplified Common Agricultural Policy would address the key challenges that agriculture and rural areas are facing while at the same time contributing to the Commission’s policy priorities (notably jobs and growth), to sustainable development, a budget focused on results, simplification and subsidiarity.
Announcing the consultation process, EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “Today we are taking the next steps towards modernising and simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy for the 21st Century. By launching this public consultation, we are asking all stakeholders and those interested in the future of food and farming in Europe to participate in shaping a policy for all the people of Europe. This public consultation feeds directly into the roadmap for the Future Common Agricultural Policy announced by President Juncker in December. The Common Agricultural Policy is already delivering major benefits for every European citizen, in terms of food security, the vitality of rural areas, the rural environment and the contribution to the climate change challenge. By designing a roadmap for the future, I am confident it can deliver even more. But we must refine it, and revitalise it, and – of course – we must adequately fund it.”
The public consultation will run for 12 weeks and will give farmers, citizens, organisations and any other interested parties the chance to have their say on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy. The input from the consultation will be used by the Commission to help draft a Communication, due by the end of 2017 that will include conclusions on the current performance of the Common Agricultural Policy and potential policy options for the future based on reliable evidence.
The results of the public consultation will be published online and presented by Commissioner Hogan at a conference in Brussels in July 2017.
First launched in 1962, the Common Agricultural Policy is one of the EU’s longest-standing policies and has evolved over the years to meet the changing challenges of agricultural markets. Although the most recent reforms date from 2013, there have been several fundamental developments since then to which the Common Agricultural Policy needs to respond more effectively, such as increased market uncertainty and falling prices, new international commitments on climate change and sustainable development.
Faced with these and other challenges, the Common Agricultural Policy needs to be modernised, simplified to reduce even further the administrative burden and made even more coherent with other EU policies to maximise its contribution to the 10 political priorities of the Commission, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate change agreement.