ARC2020 EXCLUSIVE – CAP Communication Leak in Full

Below we present a leak of the full text of the Commission’s CAP communication. Diagrams or graphics – typically called ‘figures’ in a document-  are not included. However the figures referenced below (figure 1-11) are in the full PDF version which you can download here.

1. A new context
2. towards a new delivery model and a simpler CAP
3. a smarter and modern CAP
3.1.      Using research and innovation to better link what we know to what we grow
3.2.      Fostering a smart and resilient agricultural sector
3.2.1.   A fair income support to help farmers to make a living
3.2.2.   Investing to improve farmers’ market reward
3.2.3.   Risk Management
3.3.      Bolstering environmental care and climate action
3.4.      Promoting rural prosperity
3.5.      Attracting new farmers
3.6.      Addressing consumer concerns about health, nutrition and food waste
4. The global dimension of the CAP
4.1.      Trade
4.2.      Migration

1.        A new context

The EU’s farm sector and rural areas are major players in terms of the Union’s well-being and its future. EU agriculture is one of the world’s leading producers of food, and guarantees food security for over 500 million European citizens. The EU’s farmers are also the first stewards of the natural environment, as they care for the natural resources of soil, water, air and biodiversity on 48% of the EU’s land (foresters a further 36%) and provide essential carbon sinks. Large numbers of jobs depend on farming, either within the sector itself (which provides regular work for 22 million persons) or within the wider food sector (farming, food processing and related retail and services together provide around 44 million jobs). The EU’s rural areas as a whole are home to 55% of its citizens while serving as major bases for employment and recreation.

Figure 1: the contribution of EU agriculture today

None of these benefits can however be taken for granted. Unlike most other economic sectors, farming is strongly affected by the weather; it is also frequently tested by volatile prices, natural disasters, pests and diseases – with the result that, every year, at least 20% of farmers lose more than 30% of their income compared with the average of the last three years. At the same time, pressure on key natural resources such as soil, water, air and biodiversity is still clearly present (or worsening), and climate change threatens to make all of the above-mentioned problems weigh more heavily.

The oldest common European policy, the CAP enabled the development of the most integrated single market.It is thanks to the CAP that the EU farm sector is able to respond to citizens’ demands regarding food security, safety, quality and sustainability while at the same time facing the challenges of low profitability – due inter alia to the EU’s high production standards, the high costs of production factors and the fragmented structure of the primary sector. The sector now competes at world market prices in most sectors, leads the field in terms of food product diversity and quality and achieves the globe’s highest agri-food exports (worth EUR 131 billion in 2016).

While addressing the CAP Treaty objectives, the CAP has kept evolving, increasing the EU added value to get the best out of these essential assets. It has also very substantially increased its emphasis on the environment, climate and the wider rural context in which farming operates.This enabled the sector to increase its productivity by nearly 9% since 2005 while cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 24% since 1990 and reducing fertiliser use with a positive impact on water quality.

The CAP must continue to respond to well-established challenges but also has an essential role to play in realising the Juncker priorities, especially:

  • boosting employment, growth and investment;
  • harnessing the potential of the bio-economy, the circular economy and Energy Union;
  • bringing research and innovation out of the labs and onto the fields and markets;
  • fully connecting farmers and the countryside to the digital economy; and
  • contributing to the European Commission’s agenda on migration.

At the same time, the EU is strongly committed to action on the COP21 Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These commitments cannot be met without farmers who manage half of the EU’s land, are key users and custodians of the related natural resources and provide large carbon sinks.This is why a modernised CAP should enhance its EU added value by reflecting a higher level of environmental and climate ambition.

In this context, the Cork 2.0 Declaration of 2016, A Better Life in Rural Areas, gave voice to ambitious aspirations for the future success of the EU’s agriculture and countryside and the contributions they could make to society as a whole. It presents an agenda for reforming the CAP to improve its delivery and to bring it up to date to the current day challenges.

Figure 2: The contribution of EU agriculture to the SDGs

A public consultation on the future of the CAP carried out in the first half of 2017 underlined the importance of the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, environmental and social) and linked them to a broader need to modernise and simplify the policy.

Figure 3: Public Expectations from the CAP (source: Public Consultation for the future CAP)

Last but not least, the Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe of 1 March 2017 set in motion a wide-ranging debate on tomorrow’s EU, calling on the Union and its Member States to interact better with citizens, be more accountable to them and deliver faster and better on what has been collectively agreed.

This is the backdrop against which the CAP must take the next steps in its evolution – modernising and simplifying, and working hand in hand with other EU policies – to meet a wide range of pressing challenges and bring out the very best from the Union’s farm sector and rural areas, with a greater focus on results.

2.        towards a new delivery model and a simpler CAP

The CAP needs to evolve in various ways and sharpen its responses to the challenges and opportunities as they manifest themselves at EU, national, regional, local and farm levels. This also includes for the CAP to streamline its governance and improve its delivery on the EU objectives, and to significantly decrease bureaucracy and administrative burden. A simpler CAP is a more effective CAP.

The current CAP delivery system relies on detailed requirements at EU level, and features tight controls, penalties and audit arrangements. These rules are often very prescriptive, down to farm level. In the Union’s highly diversified farming and climatic environment, however,neither top-down nor one-size-fits-all approaches are suitable to delivering the desired results and EU added value.

In the delivery model of the future, the Union should set the basic policy parameters (objectives of the CAP, broad types of intervention, basic requirements), while MS should bear greater responsibility and be more accountable as to how they achieve the objectives agreed at EU level and targets agreed with MS. Greater subsidiarity would make it possible to better take into account local conditions and needs, against appropriate objectives and targets.

To this end Member States would be in charge of tailoring CAP interventions to maximise their contribution to EU objectives and would also have a greater say in designing the compliance and control framework applicable to beneficiaries (including controls and penalties). At the same time, Member States would be accountable for providing credible performance reporting, underpinning the assurance of the budget.To enhance EU added value and to preserve a functioning agricultural internal market Member States would take their decisions not in isolation, but in the framework of a structured process that would materialise in establishing a CAP strategic plan,which would cover interventions in both pillar I and pillar II. The Commission would approve Member States/regions’ CAP strategic plans. The planning process should be shaped in a much simpler way, remaining clearly below the levels of complexity exemplified by the current rural development programming. This means in particular that prescriptive compliance elements such as measures’ details and eligibility rules at the level of EU legislation should be eliminated. Such simplification would also favour integrated and innovative approaches and render the policy framework more adaptive and innovation friendly.

This means the CAP should focus above all on the objectives and expected results while leaving sufficient room for Member States and regions to address their specificities. In line with the logic of the Commission’s “budget focused on results” approach, a future delivery system should thus be more result-driven, boost subsidiarity by giving Member States a much greater role in rolling out CAP schemes, pursue realistic targets and help reducing the EU-related administrative burden for beneficiaries. In such a context simplified cost options and modern technologies offer huge opportunities to reduce this burden, in particular as regards controls. Both farmers and citizens should be enabled to benefit from such advances with a less prescriptive framework.

In this way, as proclaimed by the Cork 2.0 Declaration, the architecture of the CAP as a whole would be based on a common strategic framework providing for targeting all interventions to well-defined economic, social and environmental objectives while reflecting the needs and aspirations of the territories concerned.

Another crucial function of the Commission would of course consist in supervising the delivery on results and the respect of basic EU rules in the framework of a well-designed audit and assurance system.To this end the assurance process would need to be adapted to the requirements of a result-driven policy design including the development and application of solid and measurable indicators and of a credible performance reporting.

3.        a smarter and modern CAP

European citizens should continue to have access to high quality, affordable, and diverse food. The way this food is produced and marketed should adapt to consumers’ expectation, in particular concerning the impact on their health, the environment the climate. To ensure this in a context of growing world population, climate change and pressure on resources, the CAP has to continue evolving, maintaining its market orientation and its support to the EU family farm model. Similarly, the CAP needs to support and be compatible with efforts that address the root causes of migration towards the EU. The section below sets out the main avenues of necessary development to foster a smart and resilient agricultural sector, bolster environmental care and climate action, and stimulate employment and growth in rural areas; the CAP has to unlock the full potential of the agricultural sector and rural areas stepping up its links to research and its support for innovation.

Figure 4: where the CAP needs to evolve


3.1.      Using research and innovation to better link what we know to what we grow

Innovations in various fields (agronomics, breeding, zootechnics, biological, technological, digital, organisational and product related) are within reach and can serve the multi-functionality of EU agricultural and food systems. Research and innovation are part of the foundation of progress concerning all the challenges which confront the EU’s farm sector and rural areas: economic, environmental and social. The needs and contributions of rural areas should be clearly reflected on the research agenda of the European Union and the future CAP will need to enhance even more synergies with the Research and Innovation Policy in fostering innovation.

Technological development and digitisation make possible big leaps in efficiency which can reduce the environment-/climate-related impact of farming and lower costs for farmers. However, uptake of new technologies in farming remains inadequate and unevenly spread throughout the EU, and there is a particular need to address small and medium-sized farms’ access to technology.

Not only technology but also access to sound, relevant and new knowledge is very patchy around the Union. This impedes the performance of certain CAP instruments as well as the farm sector’s overall competitiveness and development potential.By contrast, the CAP’s capacity to increase the flow of knowledge between partners from different parts of the EU offers strong added value as it will save costs, increase the impact of EU funding and speed up innovation in the different parts of the EU.

Figure 5: the benefits of smart agriculture

It is therefore crucial that support for knowledge, innovation and technology becomes a core component of the new CAP and that schemes which aim at enhancing economic or environmental/climate-related performance will be linked to the advisory services providing knowledge, advice, skills and innovation.

The European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (AGR-EIP) has proven its value in mobilising the agricultural sector for innovation. It has funded multi-participant pilot projects and is networking across Europe to makenew knowledge generally available. Its success depends on the combined performance of advisors, agricultural training and educational systems, researchers and farmer organisations often referred to as the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System–which operates very differently from one MS to another. The role of the farm advisor stands out as particularly important.A modern CAP should support solid plans for the strengthening of farm advisory services by making them a condition for the approval of CAP Strategic Plans. This should be accompanied by strengthening the support for peer-to-peer exchange, networking and cooperation amongst farmers.

3.2.      Fostering a smart and resilient agricultural sector

3.2.1.        A fair income support to help farmers to make a living

As emphasised in the Reflection paper on the future of EU finances, direct payments(which make up around 46% of the income of the EU farming community)partially fill the gap between agricultural income and income in other economic sectors. They shore up the resilience of 7 million farms covering 90% of EU farmed land and contribute to keeping agriculture in place around the Union with the various economic, environmental and social associated benefits.

Figure 6: Comparison of farmers’ income with wages in the whole economy and share of income support (ESTAT, EAA)

Although the role of direct payments in stabilising farm income is generally welcomed, the fact that 20% of farmers receive 80% of the payments sometimes prompts accusations of “unfairness”. Even if these numbers are the reflection of the CAP’s inclusiveness and not of its exclusivity (as more than half of its beneficiaries are very small farms), and if most of the payments go to medium-size professional family farms, a more balanced distribution of support should be promoted.Direct payments will fulfil their mission more effectively and efficiently if they are simplified and better targeted. Any change would however have to preserve one of the key assets of the policy: the protection of the well-functioning internal market the CAP has created over the years.

Figure 7: the EU support is primarily granted to middle, professional family farms taking care of most of the EU farmland

Introducing a degree of national co-financing for direct payments, especially if made optional, would endanger the currently smooth functioning of the internal market for agricultural and food products without ensuring the balanced distribution of support we are aiming at. Therefore direct payments should continue to be financed at EU level.

To target direct payments more effectively to ensure income to all farmers across the EU, as evoked in the above-mentioned Reflection paper, the following possibilities should be further explored:

  • A compulsory capping of direct payments, taking into account labour to avoid negative effects on jobs.A maximum direct payment amount per beneficiary could be introduced in the range between EUR 60,000 – EUR 100,000.
  • Enhanced support to smaller farms, notably through a redistributive payment;
  • A focus on those who depend on farming for their living.

At the same time the CAP should continue to reduce the difference in average support rates between Member States, contributing to minimising the East-West divide in CAP support. Even if the wide diversity of relative costs of labour and land as well as the different agronomic potentials across the EU should be acknowledged, all EU farmers face the same challenges.

3.2.2.        Investing to improve farmers’ market reward

The CAP should play a larger role in helping farmers make more money from the market. There is a clear need to boost investments into farm restructuring, modernisation, diversification and uptake of new technologies such as precision agriculture and big data in order to improve individual farm competitiveness and resilience. New and emerging rural value chains such as bio-economy and circular economy offer opportunities for farmers to diversify their businesses, hedge risks and provide additional income and the policy should increasingly focus on supporting such efforts. However, the performance of investment support under the CAP should also be improved through better integration of business advice and promotion of collective investments. The current investment gap in agriculture[1] needs to be addressed, also through more use of innovative financial instruments that take into account the specificities of farming as well as more integrated projects that link various EU instruments (EFSI, ESIF).Further work with the European Investment Bank (EIB) may point the way.

3.2.3.        Risk Management

In the context of a greater market orientation of the CAP, more market exposure led to higher risks of price volatility and an increasing pressure on incomes. Risks also stem from climate change and more frequent phytosanitary crises. While farmers, as entrepreneurs, are ultimately responsible for designing their own on-farm strategies, it is important to set up an adequate framework for the farming sector to successfully deal with risks and crises, with the objective of enhancing its resilience and, at the same time, providing the right incentives to crowd-in private initiatives.

Figure 8: EU farmers are confronted with many types of risks. They cannot manage them all alone.

The CAP already offers a layered set of tools helping farmers to manage risks, from direct payments and market intervention to post-crises compensations and second pillar measures in particular an Income Stabilisation Tool (IST) and insurance support.It is important to consider whether to adjust the design of these tools, including decreasing the loss threshold to trigger compensation after a crisis event, increasing aid intensity rates for risk management-related operations.

The understanding and consideration by the farming community of risk management instruments in general and agricultural insurance in particular can be improved. There is an opportunity to increase knowledge of the benefits of those systems through rural development training, knowledge transfer initiatives and the inclusion in the farm advisory service.

In the short run, a permanent EU-level platform on risk management will be set up, providing a forum for farmers, public authorities and stakeholders to exchange experiences and best practices, with the objectives of improving implementation of the current tools and informing future policy developments.

At the same time, it is worthwhile exploring how to further develop an integrated and coherent approach to risk management, which combines, in a complementary way, EU-level interventions with Member States’ strategies and private sector instruments. A flexible approach, in this context, is a necessary condition to allow tailored solutions for the different types of regional and sectoral needs of farmers.

New avenues should however be explored. Indices can be used to calculate farm income losses, reducing red tape and costs. Financial instruments stimulating the inflow of private capital can help to overcome temporary cash flow shortages. Other complementary measures to the current risk management toolkit, such as support for re-insurance of mutual funds or incentives for precautionary savings, may also be envisaged.

Beyond the CAP toolbox, certain actions at Member State level could help provided that they are compatible with state aid rules. This concerns for instance provisions in taxation policy that currently discourage farmers to make from savings in good years to cope with bad years.

3.3.      Bolstering environmental care and climate action

Climate change and national resource constraints will drive food security challenges. However, farmers are not only users of natural resources, but also, indispensable managers of ecosystems, habitats and landscapes. Resource efficiency, environmental care and climate action should reflect higher ambition and more focus on results in any new CAP.

Smart farming supported by training, advice and innovation is one part of the answer; but this requires substantial improvements in policy design in order to enhance farmers delivery of public goods and ecosystems services related to soil, water, biodiversity, air quality, climate action and the provision of a landscape amenities. An EU wide requirement to have a nutrient management plan and incentives for precision agriculture should form part of any Member State CAP strategic plan to improve results.

The current green architecture of the CAP, that primarily relies on the complimentary implementation of three distinct policy instruments – cross compliance, green direct payments and voluntary agri-environmental and climate measures, will be replaced and all operations integrated into a more targeted, flexible and coherent approach.

The new delivery model for the CAP will allow Member States to devise a mixture of mandatory and voluntary measures in Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 to meet the environmental and climate objectives as part of the CAP strategic plan. Member States will need to define targets which will ensure that the agreed environmental and climate objectives defined at EU level are achieved. The aim is to have one layer of requirements for direct payments, a single set of manageable and control rules and a reduction of administrative burden to the Member State and the farmer. Greater subsidiarity will remove “the one size fit all” approach and ensure a clear environmental link for actions taken. All actions by the Member State will be approved by the Commission within an EU framework agreed as part of the CAP plan.

The granting of income support to farmers will be conditioned to their undertaking of environmental and climate practices, which will become the baseline for more ambitious voluntary practices. The new conditionality will rely on the implementation of a streamlined set of environmental and climate conditions. These practices would be further defined by Member States in order to better take account of their specific situation and needs. Member States would have to ensure that the agreed targets are met. Additional environmental / climate benefits will be achieved through voluntary entry level schemes and more ambitious AECM programmes that will allow Member States/Regions to target their specific concerns. Member States would have flexibility in Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 to meet these objectives with the necessary financial allocation and can also transfer higher proportion of finance from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2 for AGRI Environmental measures without the need for co-financing.

The overall performance of the new green architecture will encourage the promotion of co-operative/collective approaches, involving Farmers and Stakeholders in result-oriented design and delivery and developing schemes that integrate the provision of knowledge and environmental investments.

3.4.      Promoting rural prosperity

Many rural areas in the EU suffer from structural problems, such as a lack of attractive employment opportunities, under investment in connectivity and basic services and a significant youth drain.In a Union of equals the potential and aspirations of rural citizens and communities must be better addressed in EU policies.The CAP has an important role to play to promote rural jobs and growth. New rural value chains such as the emerging bio-economy and circular economy can offer good growth and job potential for rural areas. By-products from agri-food and forestry could find new value as inputs for bio-based industries, while manure can turn into renewable energy or fertiliser through nutrient recycling. This also contributes to a reduction of food losses and waste. Agriculture and forestry are both strategic sectors to develop this potential. Growth of the bio-economy should therefore become a priority for the CAP strategic plans, and help support the development of new business models which will benefit farmers and foresters whilst creating new jobs. This would also boost the CAP’s potential to contribute to the Energy Union by promoting climate-friendly energy production that respects the core principles of the EU circular economy strategy. The EFSI and other financial instruments should leverage additional support from Rural Development programmes in order to provide low cost and longer term loans for entrepreneurs that are willing to invest in rural areas.

Figure 9: EU agriculture and rural areas contribution to the economy, with related jobs

The CAP is of course only one of several EU policies that contribute to prosperous rural areas and it must improve its complementarity with other EU policies such as Cohesion and Connect Europe Facility as well as national funds and strategies.

One priority for this future joint work across policy areas is development of “Smart Villages” throughout the Union. This emerging concept, currently developing through a number of initiatives and pilots, will help local communities address issues of inadequate broadband connectivity, employment opportunities and service provision in a clear and comprehensive manner. The Commission is committed to reinforcing support for rural communities and local authorities that wish to develop Smart Villages through capacity building, investments, innovation support, networking as well as through the provision of innovative financing tools for improving services and infrastructure.

The bottom-up, locally led approach LEADER has proven to be an effective means to local capacity building and to promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and job creation in the local economy. There is a need for better synergy and coordination with municipal authorities and local agencies to fully mobilise rural potential.

Through its rural development policy, the CAP is the “rural champion” of the Union. However, while all macro and sectorial policies have a potential impact on rural communities and many EU funds the capacity to promote rural prosperity, this capacity for rural regeneration is not always maximised.The Commission is therefore committed to promoting a “rural proofing” mechanism, which systematically reviews relevant policies through a “rural lens”, considering possible impacts on rural communities.

3.5.      Attracting new farmers

A prosperous agricultural sector can develop only if a real change of generation takes place: our aging agricultural community needs new blood to make the sector more dynamic and open to on-going technological transformations. However, young farmers and other new entrants face considerable obstacles to starting up farming activity, among them economic ones such as high land prices but also societal ones such as the perception of farming as an unattractive or old fashioned occupation.

Figure 10: Farmer population skewed towards older farmers (Eurostat, 2013)

Generational renewal should become a priority in a new policy framework, but it must be recognised that Member States are in the best position to stimulate generational renewal using their powers on land regulations, taxation, inheritance law or territorial planning. The new delivery system will facilitate MS actions to assist young farmers in meeting certain targets.

Taking this into account, there is a need to improve the consistency between EU and national actions.The CAP should give flexibility to Member States to develop tailor made schemes that reflect the specific needs of their young farmers. Such schemes could include support for skills development, knowledge, innovation, business development and investment support.To increase learning opportunities abroad for young people living in rural areas, Erasmus exchange possibilities for young farmers should be bolstered.

Setting up in agriculture implies high risk with large capital requirements and uncertain income. The CAP should help mitigate this risk in the first years after launching a farming business by providing an EU-wide system of support to the first installation with necessary support in a simpler and better targeted way: this could be achieved with a simplified top-up payment for new entrants (tailored by Member States according to the specific needs) and/or the reinforcement or extension of current lump-sum payments.

Access to financial instruments to support farm investments and working capital should be facilitated and better adapted to the investment needs and higher risk profiles of new entrants. Support to the new generation of farmers could be combined with the appropriate incentives to facilitate the exit of the older generation and increase land mobility. Furthermore, there is a growing need to support actions that stimulate the transfer of knowledge among generations (through partnerships and other new business models) and facilitate succession planning (i.e. advisory services, mentoring and the preparation of “farm succession plans”).

3.6.      Addressing consumer concerns about health, nutrition and food waste

Farmers and food producers in the EU work hard to meet strict food safety, environmental and animal welfare standards, responding to consumers’ expectations.

Consumers are also increasingly valuing access to a wide variety of food with specific characteristics, such as organic produce, products with geographical indications(GIs), local specialities and innovative food. In synergy with other EU policies, the CAP must continue to respond to these concerns, for instance by modernising organic rules, continuing to make GIs more attractive to farmers and consumers and easier to manage.The CAP should continue to support production with specific and valuable characteristics through Rural Development as well as to promote and improve its international recognition.

The CAP should in particular become more apt at addressing critical health issues such as those related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) caused by wrong use of antibiotics. It should also promote the use of new technologies, research and innovation to reduce risks to public health.

The CAP also has a role to play in promoting healthier lifestyles and addressing the problem of obesity and malnutrition through continued support for the Schools schemes, under which free fruit, vegetable and dairy products are subsidised in schools and by using these schemes to promote class room activities related to healthy eating. Campaigns to promote healthy dietary practices and increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables should be supported through CAP promotion activities.

Consumers’ food choices depend on a number of factors going far beyond the remits of the CAP. The most important role for the policy is therefore to helpfarmers anticipate developments in dietary habits and adjust their production according to market signals. Strengthening the knowledge triangle in agriculture and forging better links to relevant initiatives such as the European Institute for Innovation and Technology’s Food Partnership and the EU Food 2030 research strategy will also help maximise the contribution of the CAP to future-proofing our food system.Finally, the CAP can help to reduce food waste by stimulating better production and processing practices (e.g. promoting new technologies that extend the shelf life of perishable products or better matching supply and demand through increased transparency)and by supporting initiatives that transform traditional produce-use-discard consumption patterns into a circular bio-economy.

4.        The global dimension of the CAP

The CAP is a policy for the EU but it obviously has global implications and linkages. Close attention must be paid to these when decisions are taken about the policy’s future.

4.1.      Trade

Thanks to the CAP the EU is the world largest agri-food exporter. Further liberalisation of trade and increased participation in global value chains will allow the EU agri-food sector to develop exports even further, responding to growing middle-class demand worldwide, as well as dietary changes. For consumers, further growth in international trade will improve the accessibility, variety and affordability of food.

Figure 11: the EU is a major player in global agri-food trade

Maintaining the market-orientation of the EU agri-food sector will also allow the EU to retain its leading role in international bodies such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), promoting open trade and advocating strict disciplines on trade-distorting forms of support.

At the same time, it cannot be ignored that specific agricultural sectors cannot withstand full trade liberalisation and unfettered competition with imports. We therefore need to continue to duly recognise and reflect the sensitivity of the products in question in trade negotiations and even out the geographical imbalances of advantages and disadvantages that affect the farm sector as a result of EU trade agreements.

4.2.      Migration

The CAP is and will continue to be coherent with the EU development policy. Beyond that, the future CAP must play a larger role in implementing the outcome of the Valetta Summit[2], addressing the root causes of migration.

Knowledge and know-how gained from CAP-supported projects should be used to develop employment opportunities and revenue-generating activities in regions of origin and transit of migrants, including through the EU External Investment Plan. Pilot projects for training young farmers – with the involvement of European farmers’ organisations –as well as EU-Africa Union exchange schemes are avenues to explore further. Cooperation on agricultural research and innovation must be deepened through the relevant EU policies and instruments. The Commission is also committed to enhancing strategic policy cooperation and dialogue with the Africa Union on issues related to agriculture and rural development so as to help the region develop its agri-food economy.

Within the EU, agriculture offers oportunities for seasonal workers – often (legal) migrants.Through its rural development arm, the CAP can play a role in helping legal migrants settle and integrate into rural communities. Experience shows that Community-Led Local Development/LEADER is particularly apt for this.

[1]Reference to ECFIN/Fi-compass study due in September

[2]     Valetta Summit on migration between European and African Heads of State and Government. 11-12 November 201