There is broad support among Europeans for the contribution of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to the European Commission's top priorities, according to a new Eurobarometer survey published today, with over 80% of the respondents considering the role of the CAP "important" or "very important" for stimulating jobs and growth and for supporting the role of the farmer in the food chain.
Respondents also agree that the CAP contributes to improving trade relations between the EU and the rest of the world (66% agree) and to the smooth running of the EU single market (65% agree).
Commenting on this publication, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, said: "I welcome the growing importance that citizens are putting on agriculture and rural areas, and appreciate that 70% of Europeans believe that the EU is fulfilling its role in securing the European food supply. I also welcome the indications that EU citizens understand how the CAP is contributing to investment, growth and jobs. These will feed into our deliberations when determining EU policy for the future."
Other responses highlight the importance for the future that the general public puts on agriculture and rural areas (>90%) and confirm the trend from previous surveys which shows increasing concern for agriculture and rural areas, as well as improved awareness of the CAP.
A large majority of Europeans are in favour of the EU continuing to pay farmers for carrying out agricultural practices that are beneficial to the climate and the environment (87%, vs. 6% "opposed").
Generally, Europeans are showing an increasing concern for agriculture and rural areas. Public opinion is generally positive in reference to whether the EU is fulfilling its role in securing and ensuring products are of good quality, healthy and safe.
Regarding forests, Europeans recognize their importance in the fight against climate change.
The aim of this Special Eurobarometer Survey was to understand the relationship between Europeans and agriculture, by exploring the level of importance they attach to agriculture, understanding their view of the role of the farmer and what they believe are the main objectives of the EU with regards to agriculture.