22 million farmers and agricultural workers are at heart of one of the biggest economic sectors in the European Union (EU), the agri-food sector. Around 44 million jobs in food processing, food retail and food services depend on agriculture. The EU is also a net exporter of food and drink, exporting goods for more than €130 billion per year.
Created in 1962, the common agricultural policy (CAP) is one of the oldest polices of the EU. Its main objectives are to provide a stable, sustainably produced supply of safe food at affordable prices for Europeans, while also ensuring a decent standard of living for farmers and agricultural workers.The CAP was the EU’s first and, for many years, only fully integrated policy (more about CAP's history here). It paved the way for the EU single market 30 years later in 1992. As an integrated common policy, the CAP is funded through the EU’s annual budget.
This section analyzes the key features of the agricultural sector in the EU. Particular emphasis is given to its contribution to the economy, employment, environment, social dimension and quality of food. Below is a list of all the articles on the agricultural sector in the European Union.