BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The concept of enhancing the link between Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) payments and environmental protection throughout the E.U. and limiting the amount of payments any individual farm can receive are broadly supported by E.U. citizens, according to a EUROBAROMETER opinion poll published on Sept. 30.

The poll also shows recognition of the particular contribution that small farms provide to rural communities, and gives clear backing for making public the amounts that individual beneficiaries receive. The highest level of support came from those who agreed that buying local products was beneficial, but almost half of the respondents indicated that it is difficult to identify "local products" or "mountain products".

E.U. Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolo? welcomed the poll's findings, stating, "I have always underlined that the CAP is not just for farmers, but for all EU citizens. This poll confirms that some of the key concepts of our reform — such as "greening" and "capping" have wide public support."

The European Commission is scheduled to publish proposals on Oct. 12 for reforming the CAP after 2013.

Key findings

  • Almost half of all E.U. citizens (47%) support an upper limit on subsidies.
  • More people back a link between payments and environmental protection as a general rule all across the E.U. than those who support environmental protection for specific areas only.
  • The contribution that small farms make to the social life of rural areas, their importance to the rural economy, and their need to modernize are all seen as valid reasons for supporting/investing into small farms.
  • Nine out of 10 people agree that buying local products is beneficial and that the E.U. should help to promote their availability. Almost half of all respondents say they find local products hard to identify.
  • 65% of respondents agree that there are benefits in buying products originating in mountain areas. Fewer people (37%) agree that mountain products are easy to identify.
  • A clear majority of E.U. respondents (62%) believe that the names of the beneficiaries and the amounts they receive should be matters of public record accessible to all.

In the course of this Eurobarometer survey, 26,713 European citizens aged 15 and above were interviewed about CAP issues by the TNS Opinion & Social network at the request of the commission between May 6 and 26 in all 27 E.U. member states.

Click here to view the report as well as individual fact sheets by member state.