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Tools4CAP delivers key insights at the Belgian Presidency conference

Mar 5, 2024 | Tools4CAP Updates

Author: Bérénice Dupeux (Ecorys)

Editor: Miranda García (AEIDL)

To prepare for the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union has organised the Conference ‘Drafting CAP Strategic Plans: Challenges and Opportunities’in Ghent on 22-23 February 2024. This event aimed to delve into the complexities of drafting CAP Strategic Plans (CSP), bringing together stakeholders in the Member States, in particular managing authorities and other key actors in the process, including the Tools4CAP project.

Bérénice Dupeux (Ecorys), the project coordinator of Tools4CAP, opened the workshop ‘Optimising the drafting of CSP: Streamlining Procedures’. This session focused on establishing an optimal procedural framework for drafting CAP Strategic Plans, underscoring the significance of efficient timelines, effective stakeholder engagement, and a streamlined approach to both drafting and negotiation processes. A critical aspect of the discussion revolved around integrating ex ante evaluation and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) into the design phase.

Bérénice presented the initial findings of Tools4CAP, highlighting the shared challenges and needs faced by managing authorities. These challenges include integrating diverse information sources—from stakeholders and academia to regional practitioners and monitoring data—into evidence-based policy-making, ensuring the quality and relevance of this information, and maintaining strategic flexibility to address future challenges in the design of the CSPs.

With a forward-looking perspective, Tools4CAP is set to refine and adapt existing tools used by managing authorities or those developed within the research community, aiming to address these challenges effectively. Bérénice encapsulated the essence of the moment, stating the following: “The new delivery model of the CAP has marked a pivotal moment in European Common Agricultural Policy. With increased subsidiarity, managing authorities are tasked with a heightened sense of responsibility. They must develop new skills and undergo a paradigm shift in CAP policy design, demanding strategic nimbleness in our policy-making processes. TOOLS4CAP is part of the solution, inventorying, adapting and fostering agile tools and methods that align closely with the dynamic realities managing authorities face.”

As the conference concluded, it became evident that the path forward for CAP Strategic Plans requires a collective effort to embrace change, innovate, and leverage the best practices and tools available.