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Institute of

LV Rural Studies


Ex-ante-Evaluation CAP Strategic Plan Austria

Alpine farming in Totes Gebirge (Austria)
© Lukas Kühnen
Alpine farming in Totes Gebirge (Austria)

Ex­-ante-Evaluation of the CAP Strategic Plan 2021-2027 (Austria)

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union is implemented through national CAP strategic plans (CAP-SP) in the period 2023 to 2027. These are prepared by the member states and approved by the European Commission. Each CAP-SP is subject to ex-ante evaluation.

Background and Objective

The CAP-SP Austria contains all EU co-financed support in the agricultural sector in the period 2023 to 2027 (direct payments, eco-schemes, sector programs, rural development). The CAP-SP sets out the rules for implementation, financing, monitoring and evaluation.

The aim of the project was to carry out the ex-ante evaluation of the CAP-SP 2023-2027 Austria. The CAP-SP was to be qualitatively improved by revealing content gaps and inconsistent lines of reasoning between the baseline situation, the derived needs and the planned interventions. Aspects to be assessed included:

  • the contribution of the CAP-SP to the achievement of specific objectives, considering national needs,
  • the proportionality of the budget allocation to the specific objectives;
  • the adequacy and plausibility of the expected outputs and outcomes; and
  • the planned measures to reduce the administrative burden on beneficiaries.

Target Group

The Ex-ante-Evaluation is proceeded for and in cooperation with authorities of Federal Ministry of Austria for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, responsible for the programming of the CAP Strategic Plan Austria. The notification of the CAP Strategic Plan will be decided by the European Commission.


In the course of the ex ante evaluation, the evaluation questions were supplemented and concretized in the form of guidelines. The main phases of the ex ante evaluation were:

  1. the assessment analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) and needs assessment,
  2. the evaluation of the intervention strategy, outcome indicators and targets, and
  3. the evaluation of measures to reduce the administrative burden on beneficiaries.

The ex-ante evaluation followed an iterative process: the evaluation results were submitted to and discussed with the client. Relevant parts of the CAP-SP plan were revised by the client and subjected to a final evaluation by the ex-ante team.

Data and Methods

The ex-ante evaluation was carried out through a systematic document analysis of the relevant parts of the CAP-SP as well as other documents (evaluation reports on the 2014-2020 funding period, strategies, laws, etc.).


The ex-ante team supported the client in capacity building for the preparation of the CAP-SP. This included instructions for responsibles on how to derive and prioritise needs, how to create an intervention strategy and how to set target values for outcome indicators.

The allocation of financial resources in the CAP-SP Austria was done at the level of interventions. As an intervention can contribute to different specific objectives, there was no allocation of funds per specific objective. A key recommendation was therefore to increase the transparency of the CAP-SP by clearly allocating funds to specific objectives.

Assessment of the SWOT analysis and needs assessment: The analysis of the situation, the SWOT and the needs assessment were mostly sufficiently to well developed. Shortcomings were, for example, missing topics in the description of the initial situation, which should have been the basis for derived needs. Further points of criticism concerned a too general description of the initial situation and needs. In these cases, a regionalised or target group specific analysis of the situation and derived needs were recommended.

Evaluation of the intervention strategy, result indicators and objectives: The intervention strategies for the specific objectives were mostly well elaborated. The ex-ante evaluation recommended additions for some intervention strategies, e.g. to better understand the contribution of an intervention to needs. Set outcome indicators and the target values were subjected to a plausibility check. This concerned the correspondence of outcome indicators with the effects of interventions as well as the comprehensibility of defined target values. The corresponding recommendations to the client were largely adopted.

Evaluation of measures to reduce the administrative burden on beneficiaries: An online application system already exists for INVEKOS (area-based payments) and is developed further. For non-INVEKOS projects (sector and project measures), a new digital funding platform is under development. All projects are to be processed through this system from 2023 on. The possibilities of lump sums and unit costs will be used extensively to reduce administrative burden for beneficiaries.

Links and Downloads

GAP-Strategic Plan Austria 2023-2027

Ex-ante Evaluation

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry Republic of Austria, Agriculture, Regiones and Tourism
    (international, öffentlich)


1.2020 - 12.2022

More Information

Project status: finished

Publications to the project

  1. 0

    Pufahl A, Röder N (2022) Ex-ante evaluation of the CAP strategic plan Austria. Braunschweig: Thünen Institute of Rural Studies, 2 p, Project Brief Thünen Inst 2022/10a, DOI:10.3220/PB1646743998000

  2. 1

    Pufahl A, Röder N (2022) Ex-ante-Bewertung des GAP-Strategieplans für Österreich. Braunschweig: Thünen-Institut für Lebensverhältnisse in ländlichen Räumen, 2 p, Project Brief Thünen Inst 2022/10, DOI:10.3220/PB1646743392000

  3. 2

    Bachtrögler J, Bock-Schappelwein J, Kantelhardt J, Kügler A, Niedermayr A, Pufahl A, Pfefferkorn W, Resch A, Schönhart M, Sinabell F, Steinwidder A, Tasser E, Weber N (2021) Ex-Ante Bewertung des Strategieplans für die Gemeinsame Agrarpolitik im Zeitraum 2023-2027 (GAP-Strategieplan) : Zusammenfassung der Ex-Ante-Bewertung (Annex I) [online]. Wien: Rosinak & Partner ; WIFO, 115 p, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 11.01.2022]

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