Assessment made on 01 Jan 2001
ClassificationAgriculture (Primary theme)
DPSIR: Driving force
Policy issue: In which direction are subsidies stimulating the sector?
At Euro 40 billion, the Common Agricultural Policy accounts for 0.5% of the EU's total GDP. Its original purpose was to increase agricultural productivity and ensure "security of supply" - i.e., ensuring Europe could feed its people.
Through supporting prices in the market and subsidising the prices of inputs (fertilisers, pesticides, etc), the CAP encouraged productivity and the industrialisation of European agriculture, and led to the infamous "butter mountains" and "wine lakes".
The 1990s saw the CAP change tack, shifting away from market support towards direct income support. The mountains and lakes of unwanted food have gone, while 10% of CAP support is now tied to tutal development including the reduction of environmental impact (see environmental protection measures).
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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