In many ways, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) defines the European Union.
It is Europe’s first truly common policy, with its roots in the very earliest days of the fledgling European Economic Community back in the 1950s and 1960s. It has changed a great deal since then, but even today it remains the EU’s most deeply integrated policy.
CAP programmes are closely linked with the EU’s multi-year budget cycles, meaning that a new budget framework leads quasi-automatically to new CAP regulations. And it is the imminent expiry of the current 2014-2020 financial framework which has prompted the latest policy review.
On June 1, 2018, the European Commission tabled formal proposals for an overhaul of the CAP from 2021 onward. These proposals, which build on an earlier “Communication” from November 2017, are examined in this Special Report from IEG Policy in close (but never painful) detail. This report will examine the key issues which surround the debate, and offer some pointers for the future course of European agriculture as we enter the third decade of the 21st century.