Assessing environmental integration in EU agriculture

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details Number 1
Publication Date March 2006
ISBN 92-9167-821-X
ISSN 183-2246
EC TH-AM-06-001-EN-C
Content Type


Farming has a strong impact on the environment in the European Union (EU), both in a negative and a positive sense. The common agricultural policy (CAP) is a major driver of the agricultural sector, and can therefore positively influence environmental management by farmers. This briefing investigates whether relevant policy measures are well-targeted from a biodiversity perspective. It builds on the results of a project on agri environmental indicators for monitoring the integration of environmental concerns into EU agriculture policy (the IRENA operation).

Progressively, the CAP has incorporated a broad range of agri-environmental policy instruments. However, their impact generally depends on how effective implementation is at national level. Geographic analysis shows that the overlap between Natura 2000 areas and agri-environment schemes could be improved to achieve important environmental objectives. At this stage, more efforts in data collection and policy evaluation are required to fully assess the environmental effect of the CAP.

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