Agriculture and rural development

The 2003 reform

The 2003 reform

History of the CAP
The 2003 reform

The regular and consistent adjustment of the CAP to pressures from European society and its evolving economy was again illustrated by the new set of reforms initiated in 2003, which aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the farm sector, promoting a market-oriented, sustainable agriculture and strengthening rural development policy (both funds and policy instruments).

The 2003 reform introduced a radical rebuilding of the CAP, with important innovations such as the 'decoupling' of income support payments to farmers or the introduction of the 'cross-compliance' and the 'modulation'. In the following years, the sugar, fruit and vegetables and wine sectors were also reformed, and a new rural development policy for the financial period 2007-2013 was prepared.


Key documents:



For a more detailed information on the Commission Communication of July 2002, read the document "Towards sustainable farming. A mid-term review of the Common Agricultural Policy"  of 2002.

For additional information on the measures adopted, read the information sheets "The 2003 CAP reform" of 2005.

For the rural development policy, read the document "EU rural development policy 2007-2013" of 2008.