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Agriculture - Planting the seeds for sustainable farming and forestry
“Giving Europe’s policy-makers the tools they need to understand the impact of decoupling farm payments from production.”

The problem

The European Union is changing the way that it supports agriculture. New proposals under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will mean that farmers are no longer given direct payments relating to what they produce. The new system will ‘de-couple’ farm payments from production. Such a change is likely to have a huge impact on how farmers behave, what they produce and how they manage the landscape. It is vital, therefore, that policy-makers in this area are given the tools to accurately assess the social, economic and environmental impacts of decoupling.

GENEDEC  Assessing changes to Europe’s agricultural policies


GENEDEC sets out to provide a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the socio-economic and environmental impacts that decoupling of direct payments have on Europe’s agricultural production, markets and land use.

  • Researchers will use existing and modified models and databases to develop their quantitative work
  • Sociological and quantitative methodologies will be harnessed to understand the way farm-family households behave and how they adapt to CAP reforms
  • The social, employment and regional implications of decoupling will be explored through case studies, focus groups and meetings with experts and stakeholders

Contribution to policy development:

  • The research will help policy-makers measure the impact that decoupling has on EU countries, future Member States, and other parts of the world
  • GENEDEC will also provide EU policy-makers with recommendations and options to improve the decoupling system
  • The results will provide the EU with valuable information about agriculture, which it can use in its negotiations with Member States, candidate countries, and with international bodies such as the World Trade Organisation

Project deliverables

  • Review and modification of models to be used in the project – February 2005
  • Quantitative assessment of the socio-economic impacts of decoupling – August 2006
  • Quantitative and qualitative assessment of decoupling’s impacts on agricultural production, markets and land-use in the EU – February 2007
  • Final report and plan to disseminate results – February 2007


  • Publication of papers in scientific and technical journals – as required
  • Building, and then updating, project website – August 2004
  • Production of a two-to-four page leaflet/newsletter containing general information about the project – August 2004
  • Symposium to explain results to audience of experts, stakeholders and farmers’ organizations – February 2007

Technical information

Project acronym: GENEDEC
Project’s official full title: A quantitative and qualitative assessment of the socio-economic and environmental impacts of decoupling of direct payments on agricultural production, markets and land use in the EU
Research priority: 1.1. Modernisation and sustainability of agriculture and forestry, including their multifunctional role in order to ensure the sustainable development and promotion of rural areas
Specific webpage: Not available
Proposal/contract no: 502184
Start date: 1 March 2004
Kick off meeting: March 2004
Completion date: 31 May 2007
European Commission scientific officer: Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer (

Name: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Abbreviated name: INRA
Address: INRA 147 rue de l’Université,
75007 Paris
Country: France
Tel: +33 2 23 48 53 01
Fax: +33 2 23 48 53 00


Name: Bundedforschungsanstalt fuer Landwirtschaft
Abbreviated name: FAL
Country: Germany

Name: Università degli Studi di Parma
Abbreviated name: PARMA
Country: Italy

Name: University of Reading
Abbreviated name: UREADAG
Country: United Kingdom

Name: The Agriculture and Food Development Authority of Ireland
Abbreviated name: TEAGASC
Country: Ireland

Name: Foundation for Research and Technology – Environment Research Laboratory
Abbreviated name: FORTH-IESL
Country: Greece

Name: University Polytechnic of Madrid
Abbreviated name: UPM
Country: Spain

Name: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Abbreviated name: CIRED
Country: France

Name: Università degli studi di Verona
Abbreviated name: VERONA
Country: Italy

Name: Joint Research Centre
Abbreviated name: JRC
Country: Italy