Prospects for agricultural reform in the EU

6 April 2016

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is today the EU’s most expensive policy, taking up almost half of the annual budget. It is also its most interventionist and complex policy. Multiple reforms have created a system of decoupled payments to farmers that protect and prolong the life of small-scale farms and constrain large-scale farming and the evolution towards a more efficient industry structure. The CAP is constraining the productivity and competitiveness of European farming. It requires fundamental reform that puts an end to agricultural exceptionalism and allows the industry’s structure and performance to be determined by market forces.

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