The Health Check modernises, simplifies and streamlines the CAP and removes restrictions on farmers, thus helping them to respond better to signals from the market and to face new challenges.
On 20 November 2008 the EU agriculture ministers reached a political agreement on the Health Check of the Common Agricultural Policy. The Health Check will modernise, simplify and streamline the CAP and remove restrictions on farmers, thus helping them to respond better to signals from the market and to face new challenges.
Among a range of measures, the agreement abolishes arable set-aside, increases milk quotas gradually leading up to their abolition in 2015, and converts market intervention into a genuine safety net. Ministers also agreed to increase modulation, whereby direct payments to farmers are reduced and the money transferred to the Rural Development Fund. This will allow a better response to the new challenges and opportunities faced by European agriculture, including climate change, the need for better water management, the protection of biodiversity, and the production of green energy. Member States will also be able to assist dairy farmers in sensitive regions adjust to the new market situation.