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25.03.2010 Studies
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  • Distribution and targeting of the CAP budget from a biodiversity perspective

Distribution and targeting of the CAP budget from a biodiversity perspective

European Environment Agency, 2009


  • Comparison of the geographical incidence of CAP subsidies for 2000-2006 and High-Nature-Value (HNV) farmland (with semi-natural vegetation, low intensity farming and rare species).


  • “In the case of Pillar 1 expenditure per hectare of farmland, there are very considerable variations between Member States, and generally the relationship to HNV farmland appears to be negative at national and regional level.“
  • “there is no significant positive relationship between RD expenditure and share of HNV farmland“
  • “there seems to be a positive relationship between agri-environment expenditure and share of HNV farmland but this is mainly due to the high expenditure in Austria. If this outlier is ignored, the relationship is rather weak. Member States such as Portugal, Greece and Spain, with high proportions of HNV farmland and above average RD expenditure, rank low in terms of expenditure on agri-environmental measures.“
  • “In the EU-12 case studies, the Pillar 1 budget was far less dominant over the period of analysis, at less than 60 % of total CAP expenditure. Not only was a relatively smaller proportion of CAP expenditure absorbed by Pillar 1, the distribution pattern of Pillar 1 support was also very different from that in the Netherlands, Extremadura and France. This is because SAPS is paid as a flat-rate area payment.“


  • The study is a welcome proof of what everybody can plainly see: if you distribute money according to past production (Single Farm Payment) or past spending levels (second pillar) you will not end up with an allocation that reflects policy objectives, such as biodiversity.