BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — Over three-quarters (77%) of Europeans believe the common agricultural policy (CAP) benefits all E.U. citizens and over 90% support the main trends of the new CAP, such as making aid fairer and more targeted (92%) and linking the granting of aid to farmers to adhering to environmentally-friendly farming practices ('greening', 91%). 

These are the main conclusions of the Eurobarometer survey on the CAP published on March 10 by the European Commission.

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Development Dacian Ciolo? said, “These results bear out the importance Europeans attach to support for farming and the countryside. They also illustrate the significant extent to which the content of the reformed CAP is attuned to civil society expectations. This strong fundamental symbiosis between citizens and farmers will be strengthened by the new CAP, which will help European farming deliver an enhanced and increasingly tangible package of societal, environmental and economic benefits to European society as a whole and to individual European taxpayers in their everyday life.”

Europeans attach increasing importance to agriculture, viewing it, alongside rural development, as 'very important' for the future (53%, +7 points compared with 2009). An absolute majority also thinks it important to safeguard diversity in farming and food products in the E.U.

Over 80% of Europeans support the key CAP objectives, from guaranteeing food product supplies, more balanced rural development, to aid for young farmers.

There is even greater support for the key initiatives of the reform: 91% (+4%) regard linking the granting of aid to farmers to adhering to environmentally-friendly farming practices ('greening') as a welcome move, while making aid to farmers fairer and more targeted is approved by 92 % (+4% compared with 2009).

The majority of E.U. citizens endorse the granting of aid to farmers and the proportion of that aid in the E.U. budget. The amount of aid awarded to farmers is deemed adequate by 45%, 'too little' by 26% (and 'too high' by 13%).

After the reform of the common agricultural policy, the Commission wished to repeat the survey of E.U. citizens' opinions on the CAP and the importance they attach to farming in the E.U. The survey conducted in accordance with Eurobarometer methods between Nov. 23 and Dec. 2, 2013, in the 28 E.U. Member States canvassed 27,919 citizens from different social and demographic groups.