The Social and Economic Council adopted this advisory report on 16 May 2008. The Council recommends a thorough reform of European and domestic agriculture policy. The point is to reward socially relevant performance by farmers where the market fails to do so. In that respect, the Council is proposing replacing the current European system of single farm payments by targeted forms of reward for socially desirable performance, in which context the Member States should bear greater responsibility for co-financing. It goes without saying that competition in the internal market for agricultural products must not be distorted as a result.
The advisory report lists the most important social values of agriculture. Examples include food security and safety, employment, nature and biodiversity, water storage, animal welfare and health. Many of these social values require protection in the form of government intervention. In most cases, market regulation is the most suitable approach. European rules pertaining to nature conservation and environmental protection, health (human, plant and animal) and animal welfare play a key role in this respect.
Table of content Executive summary (PDF, 53 kB)
- Introduction (PDF, 54 kB)
- A changing European agricultural policy (PDF, 43 kB)
- What are social values and public services? (PDF, 94 kB)
- A closer look at agricultural values and services (PDF, 58 kB)
- Public services and CAP reform (PDF, 141 kB)
- Towards a new policy on the public values of agriculture (PDF, 82 kB)