Delivering on the new CAP objectives

The European Commission presented its proposal for the common agricultural policy (CAP) reform in 2018, introducing a new way of working to modernise and simplify the EU’s policy on agriculture. Following extensive negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission, agreement was reached and the new CAP was formally adopted on 2 December 2021. It is due to be implemented from 1 January 2023.

The new CAP is based on a more flexible performance and results-based approach that takes into account local conditions and needs, while increasing the EU’s ambitions in terms of sustainability. It is built around ten objectives, which are also the basis upon which EU countries design their CAP strategic plans.

Role of CAP strategic plans

EU countries will implement the new CAP with a CAP strategic plan at national level. Each plan will combine a wide range of targeted interventions addressing the specific needs of that EU country and deliver tangible results in relation to EU-level objectives, while contributing to the ambitions of the European Green Deal. EU countries are required to produce a thorough assessment of what must be done, based on a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of their territory and agri-food sector.

EU countries were given until 31 December 2021 to submit their national CAP strategic plans. Following this, the Commission has six months to approve the plans ahead of their implementation in January 2023. The approval process will be based on the criteria laid down in the new CAP strategic plan regulation.

The Commission will assess whether the EU countries’ CAP strategic plans contribute to, and are consistent with, EU legislation and commitments in relation to climate and the environment, including those laid out in the Farm to Fork and biodiversity strategies.

The Commission is supporting EU countries throughout the whole process of preparation of their CAP strategic plan so that:

  • EU countries take full advantage of the new CAP and its instruments to support their farmers in the transition towards increased sustainability in our food systems.
  • Each CAP strategic plan includes an intervention strategy explaining how each EU country will use CAP instruments to achieve the CAP objectives, in keeping with the Green Deal ambitions.

Related information

Analysis of policy objectives

Published national strategic plans

The CAP national strategic plans submitted by EU countries to date that are available online can be viewed as follows:

Denmark Estonia Greece
France Italy Latvia
Lithuania Luxembourg Netherlands
Austria Poland Portugal
Slovenia Sweden

Please note: this preliminary list is a work in progress and will be updated accordingly with the publication of each national strategic plan.

The completeness of the information provided in the linked documents is solely the responsibility of the competent national authorities in charge of the CAP national strategic plans.

Alignment with the European Green Deal

In May 2020, a Commission report examined the potential contribution of the CAP reform proposal to the EU’s environmental, climate, and biodiversity protection commitments, as set out in the European Green Deal. The report also identified the steps needed to make the new CAP fully compatible with the Green Deal and its strategies, such as the Farm to Fork and biodiversity strategies.

This includes the provision of Commission recommendations, in the framework of the structured dialogue between the Commission and EU countries to support the development of CAP strategic plans that contribute to the transition foreseen in the Green Deal.

CAP strategic plans recommendations

The Commission provided each EU country with tailor-made recommendations, accompanied by a communication. They aim to assist in the drafting of the national CAP strategic plans by identifying the key areas on which each EU country should focus.

Based on an analysis of their agricultural sector and rural areas, the recommendations aim to ensure:

  • The achievement of the ten specific CAP objectives, touching upon environmental, social and economic challenges, as well as a cross-cutting objective on knowledge and innovation.
  • The contribution to the Green Deal ambitions and more specifically six Farm to Fork and biodiversity strategy targets. These are quantified EU level targets on the use and risk of pesticides, sales of antimicrobials, nutrient loss, area under organic farming, high diversity landscape features and access to fast broadband internet. The Commission asks EU countries to determine specific national values for these targets and align their CAP strategic plans to them.

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