Institute of Rural Studies

Deputy Director


Anja Herkner

Bundesallee 64
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5501
Fax: +49 531 596 5599

Institute of Rural Economics

Deputy Director

  • NN

Ex ante evaluation of Germany’s CAP Strategic Plan


The Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union - Supporting Agriculture and Rural Development (c) Gitta Schnaut
The Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union supports agriculture and rural development. (© Gitta Schnaut)

Ex ante evaluation of Germany’s Strategic Plan for the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union

For the next period of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy after 2020 the member states have to draw up national strategic plans. This project, designed as a formative evaluation, supports the drafting process in Germany.

Background and Objective

While much has yet to be decided about the Common Agricultural Policy’s next period, a crucial reform regarding its implementation on national level has already taken shape: The member states have to draw up strategic plans.

These plans have to demonstrate how the member states plan to use the allocated EU funds to contribute towards achieving the CAP objectives. They have to address both CAP pillars, i.e. direct payments and sectoral programs as well as rural development measures.

In Germany, the drafting process faces the challenges to integrate the rural development programs designed at regional level and to consider the Länder competences in implementing rural development measures.

This project serves as a formative evaluation of the strategic plan, supporting the drafting process at federal level. The responsible authorities can immediately use the evaluation results while developing the strategic plan. Furthermore, a summary of the evaluation’s main results is a mandatory annex to the final strategic plan.


The ex ante evaluation follows guidelines issued at EU level. While the proposal for the strategic plan regulation (COM/2018/392 final) outlines a broad framework, the European Evaluation Helpdesk for Rural Development offers additional guidance.

The ex ante evaluation involves three steps. It examines

  1. the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities (SWOT analysis), and the resultant assessment of needs,
  2. the intervention strategy (including descriptions of the interventions), the target and financial plans, as well as
  3. the governance, monitoring and coordination system.

The first two steps are conducted for each CAP objective.  Key assessment criteria are completeness, relevance, plausibility and coherence.

Regarding sources and methods, the focus lies on the analysis of documents related to the strategic plan. These will be examined in light of previous evaluations, relevant literature and expert knowledge. Additional analyses are considered where appropriate. These may include model calculations or analysis of data retrieved from responsible authorities at federal and Länder level.


Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)


6.2020 - 3.2022

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing

Publications to the project

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