In mid-January 1962, the founding regulation of the common agricultural policy was signed, giving birth to the first ever common rules on EU agriculture. Since then the policy has evolved, adapting to new market conditions and demands, as well as challenges like climate change.
At sixty, the EU’s CAP supports an open market for Europe’s agri-food products, providing high-quality and affordable food to citizens. It also helps maintain some of the world’s highest safety and environmental standards for agri-food products and contributes to vibrant rural communities.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU agriculture sector has shown its resilience. The EU has quickly adapted some rules within the CAP regulations to lend a hand to struggling farmers across the EU, and has adopted measures to maintain food distribution.
These measures have been key for ensuring that EU farmers could continue to produce quality, safe and affordable food, even during the crisis.
Thanks to EU funds, we have been able to develop our farm. The funds were also an encouragement for us to stay in the countryside.
Milena Chodnicka, who together with her husband runs a dairy farm in Poland
Milena is one of the beneficiaries of direct payments from the CAP which aim to support farmers in their public service as food providers.
For me as a young farmer, especially in a mountainous area, it is very important to receive funding.
Elisabeth Huber, a young farmer from Austria
Only 11% of EU farms are run by a manager under the age of 40. The CAP provides special support to young people who decide to start their career in the farming sector.
The LEADER approach benefits our local area by providing considerable financial resources that allow for the implementation of ambitious projects which the municipalities would not be able to carry out.
Xavier Sohet, who coordinates a local action group as part of the LEADER actions from the rural development branch of the CAP
Since the early 2000s, the CAP has included measures to maintain and develop rural areas in the EU. The financial support, as well as the establishment of community-level networks following the LEADER approach, are essential tools for Europe’s most remote areas to remain populated, well serviced and also attractive for tourism.