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Cork 2.0: a new declaration on future changes to the CAP

The Second European Conference on Rural Development saw the adoption of a further Declaration designed to better integrate rural areas and strengthen their value chains.

Jean-Christophe Bureau, directeur de l'UMR Economie publique (Inra, AgroParisTech) et professeur d'économie AgroParisTech, et Phil Hogan, Commissaire européen. Remise de la déclaration lors de la conférence européenne sur le développement rural (5-6 septembre 2016, Cork - IRL). © Joleen Cronin
Updated on 09/26/2016
Published on 09/16/2016

Since it was set up in 1957, the CAP has evolved considerably.

In early September, the European Conference on Rural Development, organised by the European Commission in Cork, ended with the adoption of a Declaration designed to contribute to the debate on upcoming reforms of the CAP. 

Cork and the CAP – some highlights

In November 1996, the European Conference on Rural Development, held in Cork and organised by the European Commission, issued a first declaration on including in the CAP the idea of a multifunctional agriculture that offers public goods to society as a whole and not just to food production. To the “first pillar” (market support measures and direct subsidies to farmers) should thus be added a second, concerning rural development. In retrospect, the importance of this meeting made “Cork” a pivotal moment for European agriculture.

Twenty years after this first Cork Declaration on Rural Development, the European Commission organised a second European Conference on the same subject on 5 and 6 September 2016.  Thus this city in southern Ireland saw the gathering of more than 300 representatives from rural communities and stakeholders (national governments, NGOs, the farming profession and regional government bodies) to discuss the current and future challenges faced by agriculture and rural areas and future policies concerning them, in the context of four workshops and some twenty working groups. 

At the end of this two-day event, on 6 September 2016, a new Declaration handed to the European Commissioner, Phil Hogan, by the team of editors responsible for summarising the contributions. This team included Jean-Christophe Bureau, Director of the INRA-AgroParisTech Joint Research Unit for Public Economics and Professor of Economics (AgroParisTech), who had also led the session on “Jobs, Jobs, Growth and Investment in the agri-food supply chain and the wider rural economy”.

The Cork 2.0 Declaration

Entitled “A better life in rural areas”, the Cork 2.0 Declaration proposes ten principal orientations for innovative, inclusive and integrated agricultural and rural policy.  It insists in particular on the need to reduce the digital divide,  develop effective risk management tools, perform evaluations based on results rather than methods, and give greater consistency to rural policies throughout the European Union. 

This Declaration should serve as a foundations for an agenda to ensure rural development in the context of future CAP reform.