By European Court of Auditors, 2018

I. The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is up for review, as the current seven-year planning period for EU finances and policy implementation ends in 2020. In November 2017 the Commission published a Communication on the future of food and farming, which presents its thinking on the post-2020 CAP.

II. This briefing paper is our response to the Commission’s Communication. In this document we analyse key trends and data relevant to agriculture and rural areas, present our views on the current CAP, and discuss criteria and key challenges for the new CAP.

III. The Communication takes into account a number of recommendations the ECA has made over several years. It sets out an ambition to deliver a new performance-based framework. However we note that some of the statistics underlying the Communication do not meet the criteria we have set out in previous reports, and that the measures supported are, on the basis of the Communication, likely to be similar to those supported in the past.

IV. A key element of the Communication is advocacy of a “new delivery model” – based on increased flexibility and subsidiarity and giving Member States more responsibility for performance. In our view, the success of the new delivery model requires:
• Measures designed on the basis of solid scientific and statistical evidence demonstrating that they will deliver desired results;
• The new “CAP strategic plans” setting relevant, ambitious and verifiable targets that are aligned with EU objectives;
• A robust performance monitoring and evaluation framework; and
• A solid accountability and audit chain providing assurance on both compliance and performance.

V. The Commission’s Communication does not represent a proposal. The criteria set out in this briefing paper will inform our future review of the Commission’s proposal when that is published. We envisage that the review will then lead to an opinion on the final proposal.

Download this file (European Court of Auditors (2018) Future of the CAP.pdf)Future of the CAP[ ]