Friday

15th Feb 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.

Feature

Romania enlists priests to promote euro switchover plan

Romania is due to join the single currency in 2024 - despite currently only meeting one of the four criteria. Now the government in Bucharest is enlisting an unlikely ally to promote the euro to the public: the clergy.

News in Brief

  1. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April
  2. 15,000 Belgian school kids march against climate change
  3. May suffers fresh Brexit defeat in parliament
  4. Warning for British banks over Brexit staff relocation
  5. Former Italian PM wants Merkel for top EU post
  6. Antisemitic incidents up 10% in Germany
  7. Italy's asylum rejection rate at record high
  8. Hungary will not claim EU funds for fraudulent project

Opinion

Eastern Europe Matters

The foreign ministers of Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic reflect on 10 years of the Eastern Partnership with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  2. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  4. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  6. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  7. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”

Latest News

  1. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  2. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  3. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK
  4. Belgian spy scandal puts EU and Nato at risk
  5. EU Parliament demands Saudi lobby transparency
  6. Saudi Arabia, but not Russia, on EU 'dirty money' list
  7. EU agrees draft copyright reform, riling tech giants
  8. Rutte warns EU to embrace 'Realpolitik' foreign policy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us