Project report

CAP Strategic Plans: Stuck in silos

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The project CAP Strategic Plans co-organised by ARC2020 with the Good Food Good Farming network is now completing its fourth year since its launch in 2020. 2023 can be seen as the end of a policy reform cycle and beginning of a new one for the Common Agricultural Policy, aka CAP.  Just recently, the Commission published its main takeaways and conclusions on the joint effort and collective ambition of the CAP Strategic Plans 2023-2027 (CSPs). Not surprisingly, the Commission sees and portrays the approved plans as “collectively moving towards higher level of ambition. There are accompanying well-funded ways to spread this news, regardless of reform failures and untouched inequalities.

This report “CAP Strategic Plans: stuck in silos” produced by ARC2020.eu presents critical and constructive thinking on CAP, which in our view, is in fact very far away from reaching higher level of ambition. Stuck in silos is an invitation to critically appraise the substance and directions of the CAP Strategic Plans also in light of the relevant legislations and practices deeply interconnected with CAP (e.g., state aid, sustainable food systems, nature restoration, chemical pesticides and herbicides, seeds and GMO, animal welfare, trade). From an integrated agri-food and rural perspective, responsible policy makers overlook legal loopholes, derogations, monitoring flaws, wider deregulations in agri-food laws, and poor CAP policy integration with related legislations (seeds, food, nature, pesticides) in the name of ‘security’, ‘sustainability’, ‘simplification’, or ‘modernisation’.

These systematic drawbacks cannot be just footnotes in yet another DG AGRI’s report concerned mainly with making much of positivist claims and political overtones. Critical elements represent essential points for objective assessments and coherent policy perspectives. After all, it is in the interest of everyone to elevate the CAP to higher sustainability performance:  and while a coherent approach is not always easy, it is the only way to go.

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Date of Publication
December 2023
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