The development implications of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy

January 2011 to March 2013

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the European Union’s agricultural policy spending around €50 billion each year (some 40% of the EU’s budget). It aims to provide a stable and affordable food supply and a decent standard of living for farmers. In October 2011, the European Commission (EC) published its proposals to reform the CAP post-2013. These proposals are now being discussed with the European Parliament and the European Council, with the aim of having them approved before the end of 2013.

The context in which the current CAP reform is taking place differs from that of previous reforms. High and volatile food prices and growing environmental problems are calling old measures into question, and the rise of emerging powers has put CAP reform under a new spotlight. Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute have been exploring how proposed CAP reforms might affect developing countries. This research asked three broad questions:


  1. How do the present CAP and the proposed reforms affect development: are they coherent with the EU’s development objectives?
  2. How can we ensure that the effects of the CAP on developing countries and, therefore, on development are monitored over time?
  3. Is the CAP a good instrument for achieving its main objectives of supporting and stabilising rural income and protecting the environment? Is there a better alternative?



The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy and development

Briefing papers | November 2012 | Dirk Willem te Velde, Sheila Page, Nicola Cantore, Alan Matthews, Michael King, Ole Boysen and Niels Keijzer
This ODI Project Briefing summarises work from ODI on the current EU Common Agricultural Policy, proposals for its reform, and its impact on developing countries.

A review of stakeholders’ views on Common Agricultural Policy reform

Research reports and studies | November 2012 | Henrike Klavert and Niels Keijzer
This paper reviews the positions of various stakeholders on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2013, examining their views on two global challenges that are addressed in this reform: food security and environmental public goods.

How can Europe make the Common Agricultural Policy coherent with development?

Articles and blogs | June 2012 | Nicola Cantore, Sheila Page and Dirk Willem te Velde
This article discusses the proposed reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy and asks three questions: How do the present CAP and the proposed reforms affect development? Is the CAP a good instrument for achieving its declared goals of supporting and stabilising rural...

Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform and development

Research reports and studies | May 2011 | Nicola Cantore, Jane Kennan, Sheila Page
This paper considers how options for European Union’s (EU’s) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform might affect development and suggests a range of activities that might be helpful to gain a better understanding of how the CAP, and its reform, may affect development.