Glossary:Common agricultural policy (CAP)

The Common Agricultural Policy, abbreviated as CAP, is the European Union agricultural policy, established under Article 33 of the Treaty establishing the European Community.

The CAP is aimed at helping European farmers meet the need to feed more than 500 million Europeans. Its main objectives are to provide a stable, sustainably produced supply of safe food at affordable prices for consumers, while also ensuring a decent standard of living for 22 million farmers and agricultural workers.

The CAP is one of the most important EU policies from a budget point of view: agricultural spending accounts for around 40% of the EU budget. The legal framework is adopted jointly by the Council and the European Parliament. The implementation of the CAP is the responsibility of the Member States. The CAP has changed a lot since it was established in 1962, and continues to change today. The CAP 2014-2020 focuses on three priorities:

  • viable food production;
  • sustainable management of natural resources;
  • balanced development of rural areas throughout the EU

The following regulations are central to the functioning of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP):

  • Regulation (EC) No 1307/2013 of 17 December 2013 establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 637/2008 and Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009
  • Regulation (EC) No 1308/2013 of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 922/72, (EEC) No 234/79, (EC) No 1037/2001 and (EC) No 1234/2007
  • Regulation (EC) No 1305/2013 of 17 December 2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 and
  • Regulation (EC) No 1306/2013 of 17 December 2013 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 352/78, (EC) No 165/94, (EC) No 2799/98, (EC) No 814/2000, (EC) No 1290/2005 and (EC) No 485/2008


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