Guide to Eco-schemes in the new CAP: Opportunities and challenges for managing authorities

New report ‘Using Eco-schemes in the new CAP’ provides guidance and inspiration for EU and national policymakers and managing authorities on how eco-schemes could be designed and implemented to drive the transition towards more sustainable farming systems in Europe.

The report, commissioned by IFOAM EU and produced by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), explores options ranging from individual measures to multi-functional, system-based approaches, such as support for organic and conservation agriculture and the protection and maintenance of High-Nature Value (HNV) farmland areas or agroforestry.

Key elements of the report include:

  • an overview of the new green architecture and the opportunities presented by the eco-scheme approach;
  • key principles applicable to the design and implementation of eco-schemes including their relationship to conditionality and Pillar 2 measures;
  • examples of different options, including a comparative assessment of these options with respect to the CAP specific environmental objectives, based on research evidence, and administrative issues; and
  • the requirements and additional options for monitoring and evaluation, using both the Commission’s proposed indicators (the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Framework - PMEF) and the potential for integrating additional national indicators.

Despite the potential of the eco-scheme, many uncertainties remain about its content, funding and implementation. To seize the opportunities of the eco-scheme and make a meaningful contribution to the European Green Deal and the EU’s forthcoming Farm to Fork Strategy, managing authorities need to be empowered by policymakers in the design and implementation of the eco-scheme and the CAP Strategic Plans more broadly to deliver on that ambition.

To this end, the report concludes with a series of policy recommendations for EU and national policymakers in order to make that potential a reality.

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