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Digital image: the slide represents the difference of temperature between 13h universal time and 1h universal time on agricultural plots in the Beauce region of France (large differences in yellow). © INRA, Paul BOISSARD

Research for the future of the CAP

Since 1957 when the Treaty of Rome was signed, Europe has supported agriculture in Member States through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Fifty years on, the European Union has grown considerably and the political and economic context is profoundly different. What is the future of the CAP in the 2014-2020 EU Budget? How much will be earmarked for agriculture? INRA economists have been invited to participate in public consultations.

CAP: frequent reforms

The CAP, or Common Agricultural Policy, was created in 1957 by a handful of founding EU Member States seeking to support European agriculture in a coordinated manner and ensure an adequate food supply in the wake of World War II. Progressive reform of the CAP begun in the 1990s has included the following key stages:  the 1992 McSharry Reform, the 1999 Agenda 2000 Reform and reform programmes in 2003 and 2008 (“CAP Health Check"). In 2014, further reform of the CAP will bring it into line with the new 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.

Research input

INRA economists are invited to participate in public consultations during every stage of CAP reform. They take part in workshops organised by the French Ministry of Agriculture and present their work at events organised by farming unions and cooperatives. They are also invited to present their findings before the European Commission and Parliament.
The economists' work involves modelling the economic, social and environmental impacts of CAP policy change. Such models require regular fine tuning to comply with new developments in research; as a result, studies must be conducted on a long-term basis.  Most of the economists at INRA specialised in the CAP have therefore been following policy developments for many years.

Two recent stages of CAP reform

INRA researchers analysed the potential impact of European Commission proposals made in the framework of post-2013 reform.
During the 2008 “CAP Health Check”, INRA and its partners conducted a two-year Agriculture 2013 Foresight Study, in which 100 people participated.