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Eurobarometer: What Europeans think of the CAP
Most clearly, an overwhelming majority of European citizens support the 'cross-compliance' principle, whereby farmers face a reduction in payments if they fail to meet environmental, animal welfare or food safety standards. Over 8 out of 10 people support such measures, with the proportion saying these are justified between 83% and 86% depending on the specific standards in question.
Linked to this, the public has reacted favourably towards changes in the way in which farmers receive support. Almost 5 times as many think that giving more funding to rural development, as well paying farmers directly instead of subsidising their products are positive developments (49%) compared to those who think they are negative (11%). The remainder of the poll offered a neutral opinion or no answer.
There is also distinct evidence of views on the future direction of agricultural policy, with the public envisioning agriculture and the rural areas continuing to play a central role in the EU: Almost 9 in every 10 (88%) say that these are key issues for the future of Europe.
This is reflected in opinions on the proportion of the EU budget devoted to the CAP, which is currently around 40%. Almost 6 in 10 (58%) believe that this should either stay the same or increase in years to come, compared to a figure of just 17% who think this should decrease.
More specifically, the factors people believe the EU should prioritise within agricultural policy are:
The CAP is currently perceived as fulfilling its role well, with a good share of favourable ratings on the supply of healthy/safe food environmental respect and animal welfare.
The poll was also conducted in Romania and Bulgaria, with these results not included in the calculation of EU averages due to the two countries' status during the poll as Acceding countries.
Press release (29/03/2007)
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Last update: 29-03-2007