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Agriculture and rural development

CAP and development

Ensuring that the common agricultural policy (CAP) is consistent with development objectives and increasing the effectiveness of development cooperation.

Policy coherence for development

Through policy coherence for development (PCD), the European Union seeks to take account of development objectives in all of its policies that are likely to affect developing countries. It aims to minimise contradictions and build synergies between different EU policies to benefit developing countries and increase the effectiveness of development cooperation. This approach is underlined in the European Commission’s 2017 Communication on the future of food and farming, which refers to the global dimension of the CAP and the need to seek policy coherence in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


The main challenges faced by developing countries are tackling food insecurity and reducing poverty. By 2050, global food production will need to produce enough food for 9.3 billion people – an extra 2 billion compared to 2011 levels. According to OECD/FAO reports, this will result in an estimated 60% increase in global food production over the next 40 years.

In June 2017, the new European consensus on development reaffirmed the EU commitment to the PCD and recognised it as a crucial element of the strategy to achieve sustainable development goals in our partner countries. The consensus outlined that PCD should be applied across all policies and all areas covered by the UN's 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, with special attention paid to trade, finance, environment and climate change, food security, migration and security.

Reporting on progress

Almost every two years the EU produces a report on progress on its commitment to PCD, a requirement enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty.

The last report was published in 2019 and takes stock of progress made by EU Institutions and EU countries in relation to PCD during the period 2015-18, within the changing global development environment that has followed the adoption of the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.