Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Arche Noah/schewigfotodesign

Debating the Future of the CAP

The current rules of the Common Agricultural Policy (“CAP”), the EU’s largest and most expensive policy, go on until 2020, but their future is already being debated in Brussels. Arche Noah believes that the CAP continues to support a unique model of production that is detrimental to the environment and to agricultural plant genetic diversity, but also to human health, social cohesion, and to the sustainable development of rural areas. That is why we engage in the current debates that shape the future of this important policy, and wish to see it transform into an efficient and resilient “Common Food Policy”.

The Vision

As an association committed to the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic diversity, but also much more, we believe that the CAP has failed to deliver on numerous points, whether environmental protection, public health, or social justice. That is why we were involved in the drafting of the “Good Food, Good Farming – Now!” civil society statement on the reform of European Agricultural Policies.

We indeed believe that the CAP needs substantial reform, since it continues to create and support a food and farming system that is not only unsustainable for biodiversity and agricultural ecosystems, but also for society. We do not think that tweaking certain agricultural practices through more “greening” will provide long-term solutions to the systemic issues that lie within European agricultural production and policy. Instead, the CAP needs to be rewritten from the ground up. Its foundations need to be stronger, and take into account the entire range of developments and realities that form European agriculture. It should truly support the diversified food production systems that represent existing, viable and resilient European rural communities.

ARCHE NOAH stands for a radically reshaped CAP that can truly achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and respond to the great challenges faced by Europe, such as climate change, migration, social cohesion and rural abandonment.

To learn more about our position on the Future of the CAP, click here. To see our latest letter to the European Commission on the need to have more ambitious policy objectives at EU level, click here.


The Reform Process

(c) EU Parlament

The CAP Consultation

As the first step of the reform process of the CAP post-2020, the European Commission launched a public consultation on “modernising and simplifying the CAP” on the 2nd February 2017, which was available to the public until the 2nd May 2017. Despite the questionnaires’ shortcomings, ARCHE NOAH invited its members to fill out the questionnaire, providing for model answers.



The Communication on the Future of Food and Farming

The European Commission held a semi-open conference on the “Future of CAP” on the 7th June in Brussels presenting the results of the public consultation, and also their approach to impact assessment. On the 29th November 2017, the Commission has published a Communication on the "Future of Food and Farming", highlighting the different objectives that should be pursued by the CAP post-2020, and proposing a new "delivery model", suggesting greater involvement of Member States in setting targets and a more results-driven approach. 


Next steps?

The impact assessment of different policy options is expected in March 2018, following shortly by a legislative proposal in Spring 2018.