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Shaping the future of agricultural policy: Insights from the Horizon Clustering Workshop

Nov 26, 2023 | Horizon projects

Author: Miranda García (AEIDL)

As the agricultural sector stands at a critical juncture, with the future of the Common Agricultural Policy(CAP) beyond 2027 at the forefront of discussions, there is a growing emphasis on leveraging updated data and innovative tools. This focus is pivotal in assisting Member States in crafting and overseeing their CAP. Tools4CAP, actively engaged in staying abreast of these new developments, recognizes their potential in aiding the design and monitoring of the CAP at a national level.

At this crucial stage, the clustering workshop, held on 25 October 2023, proved to be an important event that brought together the most important Horizon projects in the field. Aimed at bridging the gap between cutting-edge research and practical policy-making in agriculture, this workshop served as a hub for innovation and collaboration.

A convergence of innovators

This event emerged as a crucible of progressive thinking, uniting a diverse range of projects funded under Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. Notable among these are MindStep, AGRICORE, BestMAP, BATModel, MATS, TRADE4SD, LAMASUS, and BrightSpace. Each project presents a unique set of data, models, and insights, which are instrumental in both shaping and monitoring the CAP’s development. Tools4CAP, with its distinctive approach, also participated in these enriching discussions.

While numerous ongoing projects are developing modelling tools for agricultural policy, mainly at the EU level, Tools4CAPis characterised by the fact that it focuses on the practical application of these tools in the Member States. This is crucial in designing and monitoring the CAP Strategic Plans at a national level. The project’s contribution is a vital link in bridging EU-level research with national-level application.

Dialogue and collaboration

The workshop was structured to fulfil two primary goals: firstly, to foster a robust dialogue between researchers and policy-makers, ensuring that project insights seamlessly inform policy-making; and secondly, to build a dynamic network of collaboration, weaving together a tapestry of diverse projects and policy-makers. This event brought together different type of stakeholders, including key project representatives and policy-makers from various European Commission services, such as DG AGRI, DG ENV, DG CLIMA, DG TRADE, DG INTPA, DG SANTE and the Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Divided into three thematic sessions—State of the Art, Work in Progress, and Looking Ahead—, the workshop covered the spectrum of research and policy development in agriculture. These sessions highlight advances in methodological approaches, data collection, scenario assumptions, and results, with a particular focus on evidence-based policy implications.

A path forward for agricultural policy

As the Horizon Clustering Workshop concluded, it was evident that the future of agricultural policy in the EU is being actively shaped by the contributions of numerous research projects.

In tandem with these efforts, the European Commission has provided access to a wealth of new information resources. These tools and data sets are designed to enhance transparency, facilitate informed decision-making, and offer comprehensive insights into various aspects of the CAP. Key resources include:

Presentations of the event


BESTMAP | Prof. Guy Ziv, University of Leeds

BrightSpace | Marc Müller, Stichting Wageningen Research 

LAMASUS | Tamás Krisztin and Petr Havlík, IIASA

MATS | Andrea Bassi and Valeria Constatini, Università Degli Studi Roma Tre

MIND STEP | Presenter: John Helming, Wageningen Economic Research

TRADE4SD | Prof. Attila Jambor, Corvinus University of Budapest