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Scenar 2020-II – Update of scenario study on agriculture and the rural world

Final report - December 2009

The objective of the Scenar 2020-II study was to refine and improve the identification of major future trends and driving factors – and the perspectives and challenges resulting from them – provided by the initial Scenar 2020 study (December 2006) on the future of European agriculture and the rural world. In this respect the study does not aim at evaluating the impact of potential policy changes but to compare how the agricultural sector might evolve under different, and somewhat extreme, pathways which, to a large, although not full extent, follow the assumptions of the first study.


Judgement on the quality of the report [pdf]

Full text [pdf, >7 MB]

Executive summary [pdf]

Analytical note [pdf]


Policy scenarios

To reflect elements of the public debate, without prejudging future policy proposals, three policy scenarios are proposed within Scenar 2020-II.

  1. The first is a 'Reference' scenario, in which reference policy decisions are carried forward in the time period of the study. For illustrative purposes it assumes a 20% reduction of CAP budget in real terms, the implementation of a Single Payment System (SPS) as of 2013, full decoupling, a 30% decrease in direct payments (DP) in nominal terms and a 105% increase of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Trade agreements are synthetically represented, e.g. the WTO Agreement is based on the December 2008 Falconer paper. To some extent this reflects similarities with the 'baseline' scenario of the first study.

  2. The second is called 'Conservative CAP' scenario, and keeps the overall level of the budget devoted to agriculture but changes the balance between pillars. It assumes a continuation of the results of the Health Check (HC) after 2013, a flat rate (regional model) implemented at national level, coupling as HC, and a 15% decrease of direct payments in nominal terms, a reduced (45%) increase of EAFRD. Trade policies are maintained as in the Reference scenario.

  3. The third is a 'Liberalisation' scenario, in which all agricultural trade-related measures are discontinued. The CAP budget is reduced by 75% in real terms, all direct payments and market instruments are removed, and there is a 100% increase of EAFRD. Like in the previous study extreme scenarios were chosen in order to test what would be the maximum range of impacts the agricultural sector would be faced with over the medium term.


Comparison between scenarios

The comparison between scenarios occurs in two steps:

  1. The first step is a modelling exercise that analyses the likely outcome of each scenario using simulation models and other quantitative analyses. This is done to understand the range of potential shifts in agricultural production, income and markets which is the first purpose of this study. Where appropriate and necessary, these in-depth scenario analyses are complemented by qualitative analyses and expert judgement. The result is a description about how each scenario is expressed in spatial terms, across the EU-27.

    This first type of analysis is all of a macro-economic nature, but the rural world is shaped by far more elements that in particular relate to socio-cultural and biophysical conditions.

  2. In order to capture the interplay between the possible pathways for change in the economy with the possible adjustment of the other factors that compose the framework of rural life and work in the EU, a second type of analysis is required.

    The choice made in the two Scenar 2020 studies is to use a 'SWOT' (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis approach – using a regional breakdown of the EU-27 into 857 territorial units. A contrast is made among a series of 'strengths' and 'weaknesses' that can be associated with a group of social and environmental conditions that appear – to a varied degree – at the regional level. For this reason, the phrase 'regional reactions' is used to connote a response that may be expected at the regional level to specific changes in the agricultural economy at the EU level.

    To better understand the range of regional responses is the second purpose of Scenar 2020.


The study was carried out by ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation, Landbouw-Economisch Instituut (LEI) and Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung e.V. (ZALF).
 

 

 

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Publication date: 04-03-2010