According to a new Eurobarometer survey that has been published, most Europeans consider the role of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) very or fairly important for stimulating jobs and growth and securing food supply.
Commenting on this publication, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, said: “I welcome the growing importance that citizens are putting on agriculture and rural areas, and appreciate that 70% of Europeans believe that the EU is fulfilling its role in securing the European food supply. I also welcome the indications that EU citizens understand how the CAP is contributing to investment, growth and jobs. These will feed into our deliberations when determining EU policy for the future.”
On funding levels, the poll shows that support for EU farm funding through the CAP varies between Member States. In Ireland, 52% of people thought CAP funding was at about the right level, while in Latvia 66% thought it was too low and in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, about a third of people thought it was too high.
Looking at funding over the next 10 years, most Europeans (74%) want to see levels maintained or increased. This is even stronger in Ireland where 81% of respondents want to see CAP funding maintained or increased. The survey also shows strong support for so-called ‘greening’, whereby farmers get payments for crop diversification and maintaining permanent grassland (87% support across the EU, 88% in Ireland).
Respondents across Europe agree that the CAP contributes to improving trade relations between the EU and the rest of the world (66% agree) and to the smooth running of the EU single market (65% agree).
The aim of this Special Eurobarometer Survey was to understand the relationship between Europeans and agriculture, by exploring the level of importance they attach to agriculture, understanding their view of the role of the farmer and what they believe are the main objectives of the EU with regards to agriculture.