As part of its working programme for 2017, the Commission will take forward work and consult widely on simplification and modernisation of the CAP to maximise its contribution to the Commission's ten priorities and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will focus on specific policy priorities for the future and the starting point will be a well-founded assessment of the performance of the current policy.
The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was developed in the early sixties to translate in policy terms the objectives defined in the Treaty of Rome (1957), and subsequently taken over in the Treaty on the European Union.
The objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy shall be (Article 39 of the Treaty):
(a) to increase agricultural productivity by promoting technical progress and by ensuring the rational development of agricultural production and the optimum utilisation of the factors of production, in particular labour;
(b) thus to ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural community, in particular by increasing the individual earnings of persons engaged in agriculture;
(c) to stabilise markets;
(d) to assure the availability of supplies;
(e) to ensure that supplies reach consumers at reasonable prices.
The CAP has undergone several waves of reforms, with the latest one decided in 2013 and implemented in 2015. Since then, the context has shifted significantly prompting a vigorous public debate about whether the reform went far enough to meet broader challenges and emerging opportunities in the areas of health, trade, the bioeconomy, the circular economy and the digital economy and environment.
Against this background, as part of its working programme for 2017, the Commission will take forward an assessment of the performance of the current policy. The goal is to summarise available evidence on the performance of the CAP so far, draw lessons from the implementation of the latest reform, confirm what the current difficulties are, and anticipate needs for modernisation and simplification of the CAP to maximise its contribution to the Commission's ten priorities and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).