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Improving the quality of CAP strategic planning by enhancing the role of agricultural economics 

Jul 14, 2023 | European Stakeholders

Author: Blanca Casares (AEIDL)

In June 2023, Tools4CAP project’ partners Emil Erjavec and Ilona Rac, both from the University of Ljubljana, published an opinion article in the journal EuroChoices on improving the quality of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Planning through enhancing the role of agricultural economics. 

In the article, these project partners reflect on improving the design and implementation of the CAP. They conclude that extending strategic planning to all CAP interventions could improve the impact of the CAP. Science, especially agricultural economics, can contribute to improving the quality of CAP planning and implementation. The preparation of Member States’ Strategic Plans (SPs) is rather formalistic and could be better designed. A major weakness is related to the political economy characteristics of the CAP and lies in the non-results oriented selection and definition of interventions.  

Intervention logic works like a black box, as the links between policy priorities and interventions are merely implicit, without clear and evidence-based connections. Therefore, European policy makers should re-examine the process and improve a system of support and capacity building for SP designers. Greater involvement of academic research and scientific methods and tools in the preparation, monitoring and evaluation of plans could significantly improve the quality of planning. This would require greater investment in research and dialogue between representatives of academia, government and the non-governmental sector.