Bertelsmann Stiftung (ed.)

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Heinemann, ZEW Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim, and University Heidelberg

The Common Agricultural Policy and the Next EU Budget, Reflection Paper No. 1

Preparing for the Multiannual Financial Framework after 2020

Format Type
Date of publication
1. edition
14 pages, PDF


Free of charge


The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was set up in a time when (a) the memory about post-war food shortage was fresh, (b) Europe was a large net importer of agricultural products, (c) agricultural production was still highly labour-intensive, (d) food was a major item in a typical consumer basket and (e) significant shares of the work-force received their major income from the agricultural sector. The CAP objectives enshrined in Art. 39 TFEU (see box) clearly reflect this historical situation. When the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, it was understand-able that the standard of living of the agricultural workforce was a major issue and that "reasonable prices" for consumers were regarded as a matter of social stability.