The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is an essential EU policy providing a sustainable supply of safe, good quality food for 500 million EU citizens at affordable prices, ensuring a reasonable level of income for 11 million EU farmers and playing a critical role in terms of social, environmental and economic development across European rural areas.
The CAP has served Europe and EU citizens well over the last 60 years. However, the world has changed a lot since the CAP was launched in 1962. Climate change, loss of biodiversity, degradation of soil quality, shortage of water, depopulation of rural areas and obstacles to generational renewal are among the key challenges now confronting European agriculture.
Through the Section for Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment (NAT), we are working to promote sustainable agriculture and balanced territorial development in Europe.
In particular, we are playing an active role in proposing more effective policy measures and possible solutions to achieve environmental protection and more efficient use of natural resources in agriculture, job creation in rural areas, provision of continual vocational training, support for smallholders, women and young people, secure land tenure and high-quality, safe food supply. We have also called for more balanced development of all parts of the EU, with the objective of increasing the attractiveness of rural areas in the face of the accelerating urbanisation process in Europe.