Drawing from the interim findings of a 2 year, EU-wide project, this paper considers the contribution the CAP makes to territorial cohesion across Europe. It is based on analysis of indicators at NUTS 3 level for the EU 27 (including Switzerland and Norway) and initial findings from a case study of CAP support in a region of Austria.
Analysis shows that the incidence of Pillar 1 support is not consistent with the economic or social cohesion objectives of the EU. In particular, statistical analysis suggests that Pillar 1 support is distributed in such a way that it tends to benefit richer regions with lower unemployment rates and with higher than average population growth. Contrary to expectations, the incidence of Pillar 2 support is also inconsistent with cohesion objectives, favouring the richer areas of the EU. Reasons identified for the pattern of Pillar 2 support include differing national priorities, the uneven allocation of RDR funds and difficulties of co-financing in poorer regions. Importantly, analysis of the impact of the Mid Term Review proposals on farm incomes suggests that the latest reforms of the CAP will not improve the consistency between the CAP and cohesion.
The paper discusses the key policy implications arising from the findings. It is argued that although member states are increasingly able to direct discretionary support measures towards territorial priorities, this is still only a very minor part of the CAP. As is exemplified by the case study in Austria, only a substantial comprehensive effort of rural development measures can provide compensatory territorial effects. Finally, the need for a more coherent, integrative rural development policy framework is discussed.
Dax, Thomas, Machold, Ingrid, Roberts, Deborah (2004): The CAP Rural Development Policy and Territorial Cohesion: Findings from an EU-wide analysis. Paper at the 87th EAAE seminar "Assessing rural development policies of the CAP", 21.-23.4.2004 Universität für Bodenkultur Wien. Wien.