The European Commission has published the results of a Eurobarometer survey on agriculture and the common agricultural policy (CAP). The European agricultural policy is well known among the citizens of the Union (Figure 1.QA2): 64% have heard of it but do not know the details, while 9% think they are even more aware. Almost 3 out of 4 Europeans believe that all citizens benefit from the CAP. The survey, conducted between August and September 2020, involved more than 27 thousand respondents from the 27 Member States of the European Union. 95% of respondents believe that rural areas and agriculture are important for our future in the European Union and 76% that the benefits of an agricultural policy are not to the sole benefit of farmers (Figure 1.QA3)
Citizens also believe that the supply of healthy, safe and high-quality food continues to be one of the main objectives of the CAP, if not the priority objective.The survey found that 52% of citizens believe that one of the main objectives should be environmental protection and the fight against climate change, as well as ensuring a fair standard of living for farmers (51%).The area in which citizens believe that the EU plays its greatest role is food security and this awareness has increased by eight percentage points compared to the previous survey in 2017 (80% today compared to 72% in 2017).
A growing number of citizens, on the other hand, believe that the financial support provided to farmers under the common agricultural policy is too low.While just over a quarter of the respondents (26%) were of this opinion in 2017, almost 4 out of 10 citizens (39%) in 2020 considered that the funding available to farmers was insufficient.This is also reflected in a call on the EU to increase support for farmers over the next ten years:now a majority opinion (56%) compared to 44% in 2017 (Figure 2).
The logo of organic farming is increasingly known to European citizens.The survey, in fact, found that 56% of respondents identified it more (+ 29 percentage points) than in 2017, while awareness of the other logos of geographical indications (PGI, PDO, DOC) remained unchanged (Figure 3).
The survey also intercepted public opinion on the development of rural areas, with a generally positive response to improving high-speed internet access, and worsening job opportunities in Europe’s rural areas.
Although an increasing share of citizens considers agriculture to be one of the main causes of climate change (from 29% in 2010 to 42% in 2020), most of them, as shown in Figure 4, are convinced that agriculture has already made an important contribution to the fight against climate change, with 55% of citizens sharing this view, up by 9 percentage points compared to 46 % in 2009.
Special Eurobarometer 504 (Summary): Europeans, Agriculture and the CAP, October 2020, European Commission