Institute of

Rural Studies

Further development of the EU-agricultural policy

Photo: Arable land with field margins
Arable land with field margins (© Thünen-Institut/Peter Weingarten)

Agricultural policy in Germany is mainly determined by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the EU. By analyzing the impacts of current and alternative designs of the EU-agricultural policy, and hence giving policy advice, we provide a scientific basis for an efficient and targeted design of agricultural policy measures (including measures for rural development).

Since the CAP was introduced more than 60 years ago, it has been reformed several times. Even though the implementation of the last reform has just started, the CAP is still far from representing a targeted and efficient agricultural policy. The next reform is already foreseeable, not at least because the societal demands on the European agriculture are changing.

Against this background, we provide a scientific basis for an efficient design of policy measures in the field of agriculture and rural areas.   For this purpose, we analyze how the current design of the EU-agricultural policy impacts agricultural production, income, environment and rural areas – for example the impact of the greening of the direct payments (first Pillar of the CAP) or of the rural development plans (second Pillar of the CAP). We analyze these impacts and identify the challenges for the agricultural sector and for rural areas. This way, we provide the basis for compiling different options to further develop EU-agricultural policy, we estimate their implications and evaluate them according to their contribution to societal demands and the related costs. With our continuous analysis and policy advice we contribute also to improving the basis for decisions on the detailed design of particular policy measures.

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