Stream side (extract), Edward Mitchell Bannister. © INRA, EM Bannister

Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

In the framework of its research activities and the support it provides in policy-making, INRA is launching a cycle of internal seminars beginning in September 2017 on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Each seminar is focused on a specific theme related to the CAP and its evolution in the context of the CAP after 2020. It reviews related scientific knowledge with presentations by researchers from INRA and partner academic institutes. The purpose is to identify top-priority research needs and glean useful insight which can support policy-making.

To this end, a summary of each seminar will be published.

This blog covers this cycle of seminars and, more broadly, INRA research on the CAP and its future. Available on the blog are all seminar-related documents and other material, which can be used to understand and analyse the challenges, objectives and instruments of Europe’s first common policy project : the CAP.


In a short video, INRA CEO Philippe Mauguin presents the cycle of seminars and more generally, the objectives of INRA research on the CAP. We also provide the INRA contribution to the European Commission consultation on modernising and simplifying the CAP (May 2017). This contribution defines five priorities for the (next) CAP. These five priorities will be presented and discussed in the cycle of seminars.

Number of results per page

Greening measures for permanent grasslands in the next CAP

Published on 02/13/2018

With a surface area of 67 million hectares, permanent grasslands (grasses that have been present for more than 5 years) currently cover 40% of the EU-27’s Utilised Agricultural Land. With few exceptions, these surfaces have shrunk by 20-30% since the 1970s, in plain areas particularly, in close connection with a concomitant drop in the ruminant populations which increase their value, and the intensification of forage production.

Agronomic and ecosystem services provided by long-term grasslan...

For a truly greener CAP: rethinking Ecological Focus Areas for biodiversity and farming

Published on 02/13/2018

Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) are one of three heavily criticised criteria governing the green direct payment scheme introduced when the CAP was last reformed. A joint European study assessed the ecological effectiveness of the different EFA types and how farmers perceived them.

Our comparative analysis revealed a disparity between the objective and on the implementation of EFA-based greening criteria: 1) EFA-declared surface areas globally exceed the minimum percentage required, and 2) the EF...

Objectives and assessment of agri-environmental measures

Published on 02/13/2018

Agri-environmental measures (MAEs) have been obligatory for EU Member States for 25 years. Like other Pillar II CAP measures, they are optional for farmers. Still a relatively small percentage of the budget, they are a very flexible public policy tool with highly varied objectives ranging from improving water quality and limiting climate change to protecting biological and landscape diversity. For this reason, they are now called agri-environmental and climate measures (MAECs).

However, variou...

Five priorities for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Published on 02/12/2018

Inra contribution to the consultation of the European Commission on modernising and simplifying the CAP
April 27th, 2017

5 priorities for the CAP


CAP and the environment: Good intentions and false pretences

Published on 02/12/2018

Though the CAP addressed environmental concerns quite quickly, it has not succeeded in halting the destruction of natural resources and biodiversity in agro-ecosystems. Reform measures in 2014 focused attention on the “greening” of the CAP, but initiatives fell short of initial ambitions, and are criticised for their ineffectiveness. 

Debate over CAP reform in 2020 is already under way. This presentation reviews ideas for action on the environment and climate, related controversy, and some...