The CAP provides EU added value by setting a higher level of ambition than might be available under a purely national approach, requiring minimum levels of financial support, and supporting knowledge sharing across Member States. However, the potential of the CAP in addressing sustainable management of natural resources was not fully exploited over 2014-20. Member States did not allocate sufficient funding to the most targeted measures, and/or chose a minimalistic approach for cross-compliance and greening conditions. These are among the key findings from the 'Evaluation of the impact of the common agricultural policy on biodiversity, soil and water (natural resources)' published today by the European Commission.
Based on three external studies on biodiversity, soil and water, a corresponding public consultation, the evaluation confirms relevant policy choices proposed for the post-2020 CAP. Those include a more strategic approach to improve targeting, consistency of approach and overall performance, and improved funding and incentives to improve the CAP’s impact on natural resources, in line with the Green Deal ambition.
The evaluation reaffirms the continued relevance of the CAP’s objective to address sustainable management of natural resources. It acknowledges the CAP’s potential to effectively address sustainable management objectives by providing extensive protection through cross-compliance, greening obligations and more targeted voluntary commitments under rural development support. The evaluation also concluded that the CAP can prevent land abandonment and slow down specialisation of farming systems, contributing to the maintenance of diversified land use, farming and permanent grasslands.
Despite the good level of internal and external coherence between the CAP schemes and measures addressing sustainable management, the evaluation identifies a limited number of inconsistencies.
- Publication date
- 17 December 2021
- Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development