Common Agricultural Policy

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Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

in the law of the European Union, one of the very foundations, being the legal regime supporting the coordination of agriculture in Europe. Although included in the Common Market, it was necessary to make special provision for agriculture because of the contradictory nature of the policies of some founding member states, made none the easier by the accession of others. The essence of it is that the market is unified, allowing free movement of goods throughout the Community.

There is a Community preference protecting the market against imports from outside and the CAP is to be financially secure: the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund was set up to this end. Market organizations have been set up for most products, which have the effect of stopping member states from setting up competing systems. The principal effect of the CAP differs in relation to different products: wheat and related produce are protected by intervention purchases made to support producers; beef and related produce are supported by excluding outside competition; and fruit and vegetables and wine are controlled by quality.

The intervention price is set as that at which the national authorities must buy certain crops - some farmers may be tempted to grow crops for the intervention price rather than any real market. The more member states become involved in the Union, the more interested they become in reforming the CAP rather than using it as an excuse for complaining. The target price is part of the cereal market scheme. It is the price at which it is expected that sales can be made in the next year in the Union. It is not a fixed price. It is established annually by the Council with a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission after consulting the Parliament.

The threshold price is the price fixed for certain imports from outside countries. It protects Union farmers from outside cheap competition. It is fixed by taking the cost of imports and making sure that it does not exceed the set internal target price. Reforms introduced in 1999 emphasize food safety, environmental objectives and sustainable agriculture. These objectives, which fall outside the scope of market policy, now, with rural development, have become the second pillar of CAP. The reforms in 2003 consist of simplification of market support measures and direct aid by decoupling direct payments to farmers (the aid which they receive is not tied to production); reinforcing rural development by transferring market support funds to rural development through modulation (reductions in direct payments to large farms); a financial discipline mechanism (ceiling placed on market support expenditure and direct aid between 2007 and 2013). In 2004, a second set of initiatives was introduced including: reform of aid to Mediterranean products (tobacco, hops, cotton and olive oil) and a proposal for the reform of the common organization on the market in sugar.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Minister pointed out that the primary task of area-based funding provided within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is to supplement the income of farmers, whose income is well below that of other sectors.
Mr Gove said: "The Common Agricultural Policy rewards size of land-holding ahead of good environmental practice, all too often puts resources in the hands of the already wealthy rather than into the common good of our shared natural environment, and encourages patterns of land use which are wasteful of natural resources.
The changes to the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy quotas have led the company to expand its site at Lomza, Poland to meet the demand for its potato starch products.
The necessity of a common agricultural policy was felt since the end of World War II, when the agricultural production decreased strongly, especially in France and Germany, which imposed some protectionist measures, such as the tariffs and support of production (The Agricultural Policy, 2003).
Reading a statemnt on behalf of Farmers Association, Laurent Pintel said that EU's Common Agricultural Policy is threatening farming in France.
The government wants to support more rural communities through Common Agricultural Policy funding, and I'm keen to hear the thoughts of northern farmers, businesses and local communities on this in Hexham today.
At least 30% of the EU funds earmarked for agriculture will go to "green" measures, according to a decision of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee of the European Parliament, which votes Monday on a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform package.
Agriculture ministers meeting in Brussels on March 19 forged an incomplete compromise farm policy ahead of key negotiations on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with Slovakia and Slovenia refusing to sign off on the deal, Euractiv reported.
BIRDLIFE Cyprus said yesterday that the Cypriot EU presidency had concluded its work on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform "by digging a grave for greening".
If you add the net contribution for 2010 to the indirect costs such as the Common Agricultural Policy, Common Fisheries Policy and EU Regulation you get the grand total of pounds 77bn per annum - which equates to pounds 146,499 per minute
According to him, this is regional coordination of the countries in the agricultural politics in context to the directions on the EU common agricultural policy.
NFU president Peter Kendall will talk to farmers from across the West Midlands about proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy at the Stoneleigh event next week.

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