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 almost 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.


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