Towards a greener Common Agricultural Policy
- Nature Ecology & Evolution
- The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is among the most important and expensive sectoral policies within the European Union (EU), accounting for 37.5% of the European budget in the period 2014–2020 (€362.8 billion, ca. €100 per citizen per year). The CAP is directly implemented on ca. 40% of the European landscape1 . The importance of this policy for the future of the EU is reflected in the last budget released by the European Commission, in which the CAP budget will be cut by less than 5% for the period 2021–2027, and it will be built around direct payments and rural development funding. Updating the CAP must reflect the environmental challenges that Europe faces in the twenty-first century, without overlooking necessary support for new generations of farmers and small farms, as well as strengthening rural development. This will entail a profound transformation.