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Keep chewing this bone: a trickle of ideas on a future CAP


For European farmers, the principal activities prompted by the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the first half of 2015 have centered of course on the task of understanding their government’s decisions on the detailed arrangements for the implementation of direct payments and getting their application forms completed to secure and activate their payment entitlements. The 2013 reform of direct payments offered a great deal of flexibility for Member States to adjust the implementation details to suit their own national circumstances. These covered issues ranging from the minimum size of claim, the definition of “active farmer”, the nature and extent of first hectare payments, or payment limits, the use of the provisions for coupled payments, the small farmer scheme, top-ups for farms in areas of natural constraints, and the provisions for new entrants. Last but not least, the details of the three greening actions (maintenance of permanent grass, crop diversification and the 5% ecological focus areas), where governments have a wide range of choices. There are now available compilations of the decisions made by the Member States on these matters. However, it will take many more months to discover the uptake on the ground of all these provisions put in place by governments and even longer to detect any impacts on agricultural production and on the environment.

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Expo 2015 Milan: Feeding the Planet, energy for life


Universal Expositions, or Expo, are international fairs held generally at five year intervals nowadays featuring a chosen theme. The earliest national Expo was the French industrial expo of 1844, and the first World Expo was The Great Exhibition of Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, in 1851. The theme of the 2010 Expo in Shanghai was Better City – Better Life.

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Member State choices on Pillar 1 implementation revealed


Details of Member State decisions on aspects of Pillar 1 implementation are now available on the website of DG Agriculture and Rural Development. The information provided is a summary of the notifications provided by Member States to the Commission and represents the state of play as at 23 January 2015. It covers the basic payment (or Single Area Payment); the greening measures; the redistributive payment; support in areas with natural constraints; and coupled support. In addition the decisions made by Member States on transferring funding between Pillars are outlined.

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Food Security – a motivating force for useful policy change?


Some reflections on how the post 2007/8 commodity price spikes raised food security up the political agenda and some of the consequential impacts.

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Member State choices on Pillar 1 implementation revealed

Details of Member State decisions on aspects of Pillar 1 implementation are now available on the website of DG Agriculture and Rural... Read in full

Environment undermined in CAP deal

IEEP press release on the revised Common Agricultural Policy. Read in full

Co-financing remerges as crucial issue in last round of CAP negotiations

Negotiations on the reform of the CAP are entering their last stage. The European Parliament is challenging the Council deal concluded in... Read in full

General Approach on CAP agreed by Ministers: Trialogue discussions now underway

After lengthy deliberations, on 19 March, the Agriculture Council agreed its negotiating mandate on the CAP reform package of legislative texts. This... Read in full

A greener EU budget in the balance: the 2014-2020 MFF deal

The unprecedented cuts in the EU’s future spending plans, agreed by Heads of State and Government in early February, have been much... Read in full

Will Europe’s soil carbon stores be better protected by the revised GAEC framework?

One of the key elements of the current CAP reform, aimed at protecting existing carbon stocks, so far appears to have been... Read in full

Principles of Double Funding - implications for the CAP debate

This IEEP briefing paper written on behalf of the UK Land Use Policy Group (LUPG) explores the issue of double funding in... Read in full