The 2013 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is potentially one of the most significant ever undertaken, according to a new policy brief giving an overview of the reform, published by the European Commission today.
As the fruit of three years of reflection, discussion and intensive negotiation, the political agreement on the new CAP maintains the two pillars, but increases the links between them, thus offering a more holistic and integrated approach to policy support.
Specifically it introduces a new architecture for direct payments - better targeted, more equitable, and greener – with an enhanced safety net and strengthened rural development. It is therefore better adapted to meet the challenges ahead by being more efficient and contributing to a more competitive and sustainable EU agriculture.
In the coming months important decisions will be taken at EU level on how to implement the new CAP and Member States also have big choices to make concerning Direct Payments and their new Rural Development programmes. The challenge will be to strike the right balance between effectiveness and efficiency, and keeping the rules as simple as possible.