EU Commits €27 Billion To Improve Competitiveness Of Farming Sector
June 1, 2015
The EU has announced the commitment of €27 billion to fund projects that will support the competitiveness of EU farming.
The common agricultural policy (CAP) and agriculture in Europe – Frequently asked questions
Farming in Europe – an overview
How rural is the EU?
Over 77% of the EU’s territory is classified as rural (47% is farm land and 30% forest) and is home to around half its population (farming communities and other residents).
How many farmers are there in the EU?
12 million (full-time). Overall, agriculture and the agri-foods industry – which is heavily dependent on the agricultural sector for its supplies – account for 6% of the EU’s GDP, comprise 15 million businesses and provide 46 million jobs.
What types of farming are there in the EU?
A wide variety, including intensive, conventional and organic farming. This diversity has become even greater with the arrival of the new member countries of central and eastern Europe.
Family farms, often passed on from one generation to the next, are typical.
Europe has 12 million farmers and an average farm size of about 15 hectares (by way of comparison, the US has 2 million farmers and an average farm size of 180 hectares).
Does the EU support a particular ‘European model of agriculture’?
Yes. The EU’s common agricultural policy is designed to support farming that ensures food safety (in a context of climate change) and promote sustainable and balanced development across all Europe’s rural areas, including those where production conditions are difficult.
Such farming must thus fulfil multiple functions: meeting citizens’ concerns about food (availability, price, variety, quality and safety), safeguarding the environment and allowing farmers to make a living.
At the same time, rural communities and landscapes must be preserved as a valuable part of Europe’s heritage.
As of 2014, further to the political agreement of June 2013, the common agricultural policy will take greater account of the diversity of European agriculture.
Where can I find statistics on EU agriculture?