Objectives - Common Agriculture Policy is the key EU policy which aims to help the European farmers to sustainably ensure food for the whole European society. This should be based on stable, balanced, safe and sustainable production of food for European consumers and also ensure exporting opportunities for the European farmers.

The sector in the EU is serving around 11 million farms of different sizes and provides work to more than 22 million workers directly, indirectly almost double when including the food processing, retail and related services.

In recent years, the importance of the agriculture sector is even higher when including the necessary challenges related to the climate change. Agri-sector is also key sector with respect ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources, keeping and enhancing the development of biodiversity, ensuring the water and soil quality and sustainable economic development of rural areas.

Besides original objectives to improve agriculture productivity and ensure good standard of living for the EU farmers, current objectives also moved to food security on EU and global level, tackling the climate change and sustainable management of resources and looking after countryside across the EU.

History - History of the CAP is more than 50 years old. It was launched in 1962 as one of the first common policies in the EU, focusing on strengthening the partnership between agriculture sector and society. The key objectives were to improve agriculture productivity and ensure reasonable living for the EU farmers. As from its establishment, it is a common EU policy for all member states of the EU, managed by funds at a European level from the resources from the EU budget.

After successful years from the very beginning, during decades the CAP becomes a victim of its own success. Overproduction becomes a problem and during the 80´s the key issue was to put in-line the production levels with the market needs.

During the 90´s the CAP shifts from market support to producer support. Price support became less important and the financing moved to direct aid payments to farmers. Environmental aspects started to be encouraged.

The reform in 2003 moved again the direction of the EU support – to the income support of the farmers. A new CAP cuts the link between subsidies and production. Farmers start to receive an income support under the condition they look more carefully after the farmland and fulfil environmental, animal welfare and food safety standards.