Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Research Lessons to Inform Future CAP Reform

7 February 2024Research Lessons to Inform Future CAP Reform

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) plays a crucial role in aiming to transition to and maintain sustainable practices while addressing biodiversity loss and the challenges of climate change

Despite an annual spending of €12.1 billion on environmentally oriented measures, concerns persist about the ongoing decline of biodiversity in Europe and the unmet environmental goals. The main questions are why the current agri-environmental schemes cannot fulfill the necessary environmental impact and how the CAP could better help halt biodiversity loss in Europe.

To answer these questions, the use of analytical tools is critical. For this reason, results from three H2020 European research projects affiliated with the AGRIMODEL cluster (BESTMAP,  AGRICORE,  MIND STEP) were presented and discussed with a high-stakes panel of stakeholders. The discussion included scientific evidence, facts, and figures regarding the current impact of agro-environmental policies, as well as possible policy suggestions.

  • Lisa Baldi Researcher, Agricultural Economics, University of Parma 
  • James Bullock UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology 
  • Tassos Haniotis Special Advisor for Sustainable Productivity, Forum for the Future of Agriculture 
  • John Helming Senior Researcher, Wageningen Economic Research
  • Antonia Lütteken Policy Officer, Environmental Sustainability Unit, DG AGRI, European Commission 
  • Elisabet Nadeu Senior Policy Analyst, CAP and Food, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) 
  • Ignacio Perez-Dominguez Scientific Officer, Joint Research Centre, European Commission 
  • Ana Rocha Director - EU Agriculture & Forestry policies, European Landowners' Organization 
  • Tomáš Václavík Palacky University Olomouc 
  • Guy Ziv Professor, Faculty of Environment, University of Leeds


The recording starts with Tassos Haniotis Special Advisor for Sustainable Productivity, Forum for the Future of Agriculture.
- Tassos Haniotis recently retired, after a 33-year career in the Commission, as the Director of Strategy, Simplification and Policy Analysis in the Directorate General for Agriculture of the European Commission. He previously held posts as Head of Unit in the Agricultural Policy Analysis and Perspectives unit and the Agricultural Trade Policy Analysis unit
"Soil organic matter is a key indicator"

"Key performance indicators only show impact on a longer time basis"


Tomáš Václavík Palacky 
University Olomouc 

Tomáš has a broad interest in the applications of GIScience & Remote Sensing in ecology and environmental studies. Guided by the conceptual framework of Landscape Ecology and Biogeography, his work focuses on understanding the effects of natural and anthropogenic processes, especially land-use change, on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

He presented the findings of the BEST map project (see also resource). This research project had as objective to design and develop a new Policy Impact Assessment Model (PIAM) framework, relying on modern socio-economic, behavioural and biophysical approaches that captures the environmental, social and economic variability of individual farms and EU regions.
"Overall agro-environmental measures have a low impact with the current level of adoption."

"Large farmers are more likely to adopt agro-environmental measures. Small farmers are more likely NOT to adopt agro-environmental measures."

"Taxation of emissions seems preferred over subsidized reduction" (...) Farmers fear loss over potential gains. It's therefore important to focus on opportunities and reward farmers for positive externalities."

"Future call should allow to collect field data based on new sampling and not only on existing databases and allow to collect new data over a longer period of time."


The aim of the BESTMAP project was to develop a methodological framework for modelling the impact of agricultural 9environmental) policies (mainly AEP) on the agricultural landscape. The project’s methods took into account the complexity of farmers’ decision-making and the different preferences of different types of farms. At the same time, the project assessed the impact of different AEP implementation scenarios on biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

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