Preparing for the CAP Health Check

Position Paper by the Scientific Advisory Board for Agricultural Policy at the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection on the Commission Communication to the Council and the EP. Adopted on 28 March 2008.


On 20 November 2007, the European Commission presented its ideas on the further development of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as part of the so-called Health Check. After the 2003 Luxembourg reform and subsequent reforms enacted thereafter, it should be examined whether the CAP instruments "function as they should and whether adjustments are necessary".

The Commission focuses on the following three questions in its communication:

  1. How can direct payments be shaped more effectively, efficiently and simple?
  2. How to adapt market support instruments in an EU of twenty-seven Member States to a more and more globalised world?
  3. How to master new challenges (climate change, bioenergy, water management and erosion of species)?

According to the Commission, the proposals do not imply "a fundamental reform of the existing policy", but represent more than fine-tuning. The Advisory Board sees things similarly. Some of the proposals indicate the ideas the Commission has for the CAP in the period after 2013. Some of the Commission's reflections give the Advisory Board cause for concern because they fall behind the targets of the Luxembourg reform decisions and do not adequately address the key future challenges for the EU's agricultural policy.

The Advisory Board comments on the Commission's ideas in the following and places them in the context of the further development of EU agricultural policy beyond the year 2013.

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