EU Council to provide targeted review of common agricultural policy

The European Council has formally adopted a targeted review of certain basic acts of the common agricultural policy (CAP), according to a government-issued press release. This review comes as a response to concerns voiced by farmers in recent months and takes into account the impact of geopolitical developments, such as the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and of extreme weather events.

“This targeted review of the common agricultural policy is a concrete result of our efforts to cut red tape and ensure simplification for farmers,” said David Clarinval, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Self-Employed, SMEs and Agriculture, Institutional Reforms and Democratic Renewal. “The adoption comes only two months after the proposal was presented by the Commission. This clearly demonstrates we are delivering on the promises we have made to European farmers.”

Main elements of the review

The review addresses certain elements of the CAP strategic plans regulation and the regulation on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy (the ‘horizontal regulation’). It comes as a response to issues encountered during the first year of implementation of the new CAP.

The updated rules deliver simplification, reduce administrative burden, and provide greater flexibility for complying with certain environmental conditionalities, while ensuring a predictable framework for farmers.

The text strikes a careful balance between the need to maintain the sustainability ambitions contained in the current CAP and ensuring that farmers’ concerns are effectively and promptly addressed.

Next steps

The law will now be signed by the representatives of the Council and the European Parliament. It will then be published in the Official Journal and enter into force on the day following its publication, by the end of May.

Farmers will be able to retroactively apply some of the new rules related to environmental conditionalities for the claim year 2024.


During its meeting on 26 February 2024, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council confirmed its political will to respond effectively to the concerns voiced by farmers and urged the Commission to come up with a proposal to amend the CAP regulations in a targeted manner.

On 15 March 2024, the Commission (Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski) published its proposal.

The European Parliament agreed to deal with the file under its ‘urgent procedure’ and agreed, on 24 April 2024, to approve the CAP simplification package.

The extremely short time between the publication of the proposal by the Commission and its formal adoption today by the Council reflects the commitment of the three institutions to quickly address the situation European farmers are currently facing.