EU agricultural policy + support

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.

An EU flag with the sky as background
© rustamank -

Overview of topics

Main features of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its implementation in Germany

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will make European agriculture greener and more sustainable and provide a reliable and stable framework for the period up to 2020.


Direct payments

Direct payments represent a core element of EU agricultural support. This instrument supports the safeguarding of incomes and risk protection of agricultural holdings in the form of a payment that is not linked to production. These payments are intended to cushion the impact of the, in part, considerable fluctuations of agricultural prices.


Joint Task for the "Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection"

The Federal Government and the Länder jointly promote rural areas, agriculture and coastal protection.


Agri-environment-climate measures (AECMs), organic farming and animal welfare measures

Agri-environment-climate measures (AECMs), organic farming and animal welfare measures are essential instruments for achieving environmental objectives under the Common European Agricultural Policy. The European Union’s legal framework requires at least 30 percent of funding to be in rural development programmes according to Article 59(6) of the EU Regulation on support for rural development (EAFRD).



Coupling EU farm payments with commitments in the fields of environmental protection, human, animal and plant health and animal welfare is defined as "cross-compliance".



Frequently Asked Questions on the Background of the Current Status of CAP (topic:eu-agricultural-policy)

Frequently asked questions on the 2014 reform of the common agricultural policy


Questions and Answers on the Common European Agricultural Policy (CAP) (topic:eu-agricultural-policy)

The CAP has been one of the most important areas of European policy since the inception of European integration. The CAP has been repeatedly adjusted to take account of changes in living conditions in Europe.


Use of cookies

Cookies help us to provide our services. By using our website you agree that we can use cookies. Read more on data protection and visit the following link: Data protection