The CMEF at a glance
The European Commission has set up the common monitoring and evaluation framework (CMEF) to assess the performance of the common agricultural policy (CAP) and improve its efficiency.
Monitoring and evaluation results generate valuable information. They:
- provide a sound analytical basis for future policy design;
- help in setting policy and programme objectives, and are then used to measure how these objectives are met in the long term;
- contribute to the accountability of public spending, thereby playing an important role in responding to citizens’ concerns and questions as regards the use of taxpayers’ money.
To ensure proper monitoring and evaluation, the political objectives must be related to the planned measures. The CAP objectives are:
- viable food production, with a focus on agricultural income, agricultural productivity and price stability;
- sustainable management of natural resources and climate action, with a focus on greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, soil and water;
- balanced territorial development, with a focus on rural employment, growth and poverty in rural areas.
The monitoring element of the CMEF provides key information on the CAP implementation. The European Commission is monitoring today’s developments in agricultural markets, rural development and the use of CAP funds.
A number of indicator types were defined to support the assessment of the CAP's performance:
- context indicators describing general information relevant to the policy (such as the amount of agricultural land available or information on the average age of farm managers);
- income support and market measure output indicators, which provide information on, for example, the number of beneficiaries of CAP income support;
- output indicators monitoring EU policies on rural development, for example, on the public expenditure for investment;
- results indicators for the income support elements of the CAP measuring the direct and immediate effects of interventions (for example the percentage of farmers income which came from income support);
- rural development results indicators assessing the effect of rural development policy, such as preventing soil erosion and improving soil management. Most of these indicators are also target indicators. In addition, rural development complementary result indicators aim to assess the net effect of CAP intervention;
- target indicators used to set quantified objectives at the beginning of the programming period for the rural development policy (some of which correspond to result indicators);
- impact indicators measuring the impact of policy interventions for the longer term and when there are effects beyond the immediate period (of which some are also included in the context indicator set).
The selected indicators are presented visually and interactively in the dashboard by theme, including farming income support, climate change and air quality, market orientation and organic production.
The Commission provides an annual update of data (subject to availability) for a set of context indicators that reflect relevant aspects of the general contextual trends likely to have an influence on the implementation, achievements and performance of the CAP.
Within the CMEF, evaluation is a tool to assess the impact of policy interventions. It provides evidence for decision-making and improves the effectiveness, utility and efficiency of CAP interventions. It also contributes to improved transparency, learning and accountability.
Evaluations of the measures related to income support for farmers and assistance for complying with sustainable agricultural practices, and to market support are carried out by independent external contractors, such as research bodies, universities and consultancy firms, under the responsibility of the Commission on the basis of a multiannual evaluation plan. Contracts are established through a public tendering procedure. Tender notices and the calls for tender are published on the platform tenders electronic daily.
The purpose, scope and timing of each evaluation is set out in evaluation roadmaps, which are open to feedback from citizens.
For the rural development programmes, evaluations are carried out by the EU countries. The Commission produces syntheses of the ex-ante and ex-post evaluations prepared by the countries.
To ensure that evaluations are firmly embedded in the policy making process and that established benchmarks are met, the Commission has prepared guidelines and a toolbox for better regulation, outlining requirements and best practices for evaluations of the CAP.
The reports and findings of evaluations and external studies are listed in seven categories:
- farmers and farming
- rural areas
- research, innovation and technology
- products and markets
- regulation and simplification.
The European Commission publishes reports on the implementation of the CMEF and the results assessing the performance of the CAP.
The first report on the monitoring and evaluation of the CAP for the 2014-20 period was presented to the European Parliament and the Council in 2018.
The Commission expects to publish the final assessment of the CAP implementation in 2021.
The following rules govern the CMEF for:
- the setting up the common monitoring and evaluation framework (see Article 110 of EU regulation 1306/2013
- the application of the CMEF (EU implementing regulation 834/2014)
- the monitoring and evaluation elements of the European structural and investment funds (ESIF) (EU regulation 1303/2013)
- the monitoring and evaluation of the rural development policy (EU regulation 1305/2013, EU implementing regulation 808/201)