EU agricultural policy
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has been one of the most important areas of European policy since the unification of Europe. The CAP has been continuously adapted to the changing living conditions in Europe. Globalisation, climate change and the strengthening of rural areas will shape the future profile of CAP. In this context the farming industry is located in the area of tension between social and ecological responsibility and the economic need for sustainable entrepreneurial action.
Classical support for agricultural prices is drawing to a close. The agricultural sector is oriented towards the market. Today farmers receive direct payments which are tied to conditions concerning for instance food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection. At the same time, 490 million people in the 27 Member States of the European Union benefit from a diverse food offering, uniform quality standards, protected indications of origin and designations of origin as well as extensive information obligations of manufacturers.