Agricultural Policy / CAP

Arche Noah/schewigfotodesign

Deciding the Future of the CAP

In June 2018 the European Commission published new proposals for the future of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (“CAP”) for the 2021-27 period. The two other main Brussels institutions, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, are considering the proposals. Many civil society organizations are making their voices heard. We expect an intense debate on the future of the CAP until the European elections in May 2019.

This debate is important. The CAP, by deciding how public subsidies are allocated, sets the rules of the game for agriculture in Europe. To date, these rules have favoured the interests of big agricultural business at the expense of truly sustainable, biodiverse farming.

ARCHE NOAH is working in Brussels and Austria to achieve a major change in the CAP to strengthen the position of farmers and to promote much greater biodiversity on the farm.

The Vision

We want to put an end to the current CAP payments system, based on paying subsidies per hectare. This system distorts the farming sector by putting pressure on farmers to enlarge their holdings or cultivate monocultures. It often subsidises farming models which have negative consequences for society: reducing biodiversity or harming the environment.

We propose to create a new ‘farmer’s payment’, not linked to farm size, which would provide a secure income base for farmers without distorting their choices or behaviour. We also put forward ideas to concentrate Rural Development (RD) spending on broad goals, such as helping farmers adopt more sustainable farming models.

Our vision and ideas are explained in our position paper on the CAP Reform proposals. There is a summary (2 pages) and a full version (12 pages) of our position.