Tuesday

22nd Oct 2019

Public support for EU farm subsidies high but falling

  • The share of citizens that thinks CAP subsidies benefit all citizens, not just farmers, has dropped (Photo: marcovdz)

A majority of respondents in an EU-commissioned poll said they thought the EU's agricultural policy benefits all citizens, but support was lower than two years ago. An increasing number of EU citizens believed the subsidies benefited only farmers.

More than 27,000 EU citizens were asked in October 2015 whether they agreed with the statement "the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) benefits all European citizens and not only farmers". The poll was published by Eurobarometer on Wednesday (6 January).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

While 62 percent said they agreed, this figure represents a sizeable drop compared to the 77 percent who supported the statement in November 2013.

Among EU citizens, 22 percent percent disagreed, while 16 percent said they did not know.

France, which is one of the largest recipients of agricultural subsidies, is also the country where the division is largest. Of the French respondents to the poll, 36 percent said the CAP only benefits farmers.

Around 39 percent of the EU budget is spent on agriculture, with about 30 percent going directly to farmers and the agricultural market, and 9 percent to rural development projects.

But many of the details of the CAP escape the average European: a majority said they had heard of the CAP, but did not know any details. 30 percent had never heard of it. Only 10 percent knew the details of the support EU gives farmers through the policy.

At the same time, the majority of citizens are not interested in knowing more about the policy: 65 percent said No, when asked if they wanted more information.

The number of people who said the EU subsidies for farmers were too high remained stable at 13 percent, while the share of those who thought the subsidies were too low, increased slightly from 26 to 29 percent.

Latvians (66 percent) and Romanians (57 percent) were the most in favour of higher subsidies, while in Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands 31 percent said they were too high.

Across the EU, 41 percent said the level of farm subsidies was “about right”.

Agriculture ministers accept Commission aid plan

Most of the EU's agriculture ministers were cautiously optimistic about the EU Commission's €500 million aid package for Europe's struggling farmers, after receiving additional details.

EU farm projects unreasonably costly, auditors say

An aid scheme to help farmers improve environmental sustainability of their farms funded programmes that could have been a much better value for money, says the Court of Auditors.

News in Brief

  1. Brexit is waste of time and energy, says Juncker
  2. Abortion and same-sex marriage become legal in Northern Ireland
  3. Germany wants internationally controlled zone in Syria
  4. EU parliament refuses to debate Catalonia
  5. Four businessmen charged in Slovak journalist murder
  6. Erdogan accuses EU of 'standing by terrorists' in Syria
  7. Migrants riot in Maltese camp
  8. Spanish PM refuses dialogue with Catalonia president

Opinion

Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  3. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  4. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  5. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  7. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  11. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work

Latest News

  1. MPs vote on Johnson's latest push for Brexit deal
  2. Macron breaks Balkans promise in quest for EU dominance
  3. Snap elections in North Macedonia after EU rejection
  4. UK opposition MPs attack new Brexit deal
  5. Deep divisions on display over post-Brexit EU budget
  6. Juncker: 'Historic mistake' against Balkan EU hopefuls
  7. EU leaders spent just 12 minutes on climate
  8. Crunch Brexit vote in UK This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us