The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) represents one of the cornerstones of cooperation at European level.
The CAP was launched in 1962 and its main objectives are:

• To increase agricultural productivity through continuous technical progress, to rationalise the development of agricultural production and to improve competitiveness;
• To ensure a decent standard of living for the agricultural community;
• To stabilise agricultural markets;
• To ensure the availability of supplies;
• To guarantee reasonable prices for consumers.

The CAP has experienced several reforms (the last one in 2013) since its launch in order to simplify and rationalise the complex functioning of this policy. The European Union (EU) is facing constant challenges in this sector, thus seeking to create a more sustainable, ecological, efficient and innovative rural and agricultural ecosystem.
It is important to highlight that agriculture does not only concern food production, but it also affects rural communities, the environment and natural resources. The EU enacted specific regulations in the sectors of organic agriculture, safety and labelling of products, forest resources and biotechnologies.
After the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, the CAP lies within the area of shared competences of the European Union.

Useful links:

European Commission – Agriculture and Rural Development

European Parliament - Agriculture and Rural Development Committee (AGRI)

Council of the European Union - Agriculture and Fisheries Council configuration (AGRIFISH)

Committee of the Regions – Commission for Natural Resources (NAT)