The Future of Rural Development: The Role of the CAP and Cohesion Policy

IEEP, 08 JUN 2011

In this IEEP CAP2020 Policy Briefing, we clarify the roles of Cohesion Policy and the CAP in supporting rural development, and present some of the arguments that might come into play regarding the future EU policy framework for supporting rural development.

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The Role of Agriculture in the 2011 EU Biodiversity Strategy

11 MAY 2011

On 4 May, the European Commission published its proposals for a new Biodiversity Strategy for 2011. The strategy places particular emphasis on the important role of the agricultural sector in ‘helping halt the loss of biodiversity in the EU by 2020, and protecting, valuing and restoring EU biodiversity and ecosystem services by 2050’.

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Developments in the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement

14 APR 2011

A Mercosur trade agreement in relation to agriculture has the potential to have significant knock-on impacts on the environment. With talks expected to conclude by July 2011, there are significant concerns being raised about the impact, not only on the EU’s agricultural sector, but also what this might mean environmentally.

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New EU Roadmap for a Competitive Low Carbon Economy Calls Agriculture and Land Management to Action

31 MAR 2011

On 8 March 2011, the Commission published a Communication entitled A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 as a key deliverable under the so-called Europe 2020 Resource Efficiency Flagship. The Roadmap sets out the milestones to achieving 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It provides an overview of the pathways for key sectors, including agriculture and forestry, and indicates the percentage reductions from 1990 levels that would have to be achieved per sector by 2030 and 2050 respectively. For the agriculture sector specifically, the Commission’s analysis shows that by 2050 the sector could reduce non-CO2 emissions by between 42 and 49 per cent, compared to 1990.

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Farming in the Uplands

07 MAR 2011

The Efra Committee inquiry into Farming in the Uplands sought to ‘identify and evaluate the drivers of change in upland communities, and to develop policy recommendations to enable and equip them to move towards more secure, economically prosperous and sustainable futures’. Evidence from 25 organisations (such as the Tenant Farmers Association, National Farmers Union, Country Land and Business Association, and English National Park Authorities Association) informed the Committee’s recommendations.

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The Future of Global Food and Farming from a European Perspective

IEEP, 18 FEB 2011

Foresight reports published in France and the UK examine the challenges facing the global food system between now and 2050, and the policy decisions needed to ensure that a global population rising to nine billion or more can be fed sustainably and equitably.

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Commission 'Agricultural Policy Perspectives' Published

IEEP, 04 FEB 2011

DG Agriculture has published three new briefings discussing key aspects of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) pertinent to the debate on its future design and structure. These Agricultural Policy Perspectives critically explore how the CAP might evolve in the future and provide an insight to the Commission’s stance on the future for direct payments, market measures and rural development within the CAP.

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December Agriculture Council Discusses CAP Future, Dairy and New Quality Rules

IEEP, 21 DEC 2010

The Agriculture Council met in Brussels on Tuesday 14th December for the last meeting under the 2010 Belgium Presidency. Support for Less Favoured Areas, greening of Pillar One and simplification were among the key issues discussed together with major discussions surrounding the Commission’s dairy reform as well as a revision of the EU quality rules.

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Farm Advisory System and the Leader approach: two new reports by the Commission and the Court of Auditors

IEEP, 03 DEC 2010

Two new reports have been published that evaluate the operation of specific Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) policy measures. The Commission’s report focuses on evaluating the implementation of the Farm Advisory System (FAS) to date and the European Court of Auditors’ report looks at the effectiveness of the Leader approach.

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Out of the box thinking on the CAP


RISE Foundation project outlines new thinking on the further modernisation of the CAP

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Rural Development back on the agenda at Cork


David Baldock sets out his view on the Cork 2 conference which he and others at IEEP attended and about what this might mean for the future of rural development policy.

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Climate mitigation in agriculture is necessary, achievable and can benefit the sector in the process


The agriculture sector has great potential to reduce its GHG emissions in a cost-effective way, with limited or no production impacts, as well as gain efficiency and deliver environmental benefits in the process. However, to play and enhanced role in delivering the EU’s climate objectives requires commitment from both Member States and the agricultural sector.

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