Fitness Check of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Is the CAP fit for purpose?

Our comprehensive analysis of the CAP, spanning 12 topics and based on nearly 500 references, indicates that the CAP is not fit for purpose - and in its current design, it is unlikely to deliver on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

You may access our full report here:

PowerPoint presentations:

To access and download the database click here ›

Why do we need a Fitness Check of the CAP?

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) takes almost 40% of the EU’s budget, and has operated for nearly 60 years under the same official objectives. Is it still ‘fit for purpose’? The most state-of-the-art approach to evaluate this, according to the EU, is to conduct a “Fitness Check” (as already done, e.g., for the Birds and Habitats Directive).

Toward the next CAP reform that will shape the CAP beyond 2020, more than 200 organizations have called the European Commission (EC) to conduct such a Fitness Check for the CAP. While the EC conducted a public consultation ( and is currently engaged in an Impact Assessment (i.e. an evaluation of future scenarios for the CAP), it was decided not to conduct a Fitness Check of the CAP.

This project therefore attempts to fill a gap in policy evaluation, by conducting an independent, evidence-based Fitness Check. Firstly, we asked whether the CAP fulfills its own objectives. Secondly, following the EC commitment to mainstream its policies with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), we asked whether the CAP can deliver on the most relevant SDGs.


15.2.2018: We evaluated the Commission's Communication Document, "The Future of Food and Farming", published 29.11.2018. Outcomes of our evaluation is available here:

Comments on "The Future of Food and Farming" (EN)

Kommentar zur "Ernährung und Landwirtschaft der Zukunft" (DE)

15.1.2018: A German version of our Executive Summary now available for download (PDF).

15.12.2017: European Court of Auditors' Special Report 21/2017 confirms our findings with respect to Greening. (see Here)

12.12.2017: Updated version of our database (full publication list) uploaded. 

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