Embargo: Immediate Monday 30 April 2007

Contact: Owen Williams 020 7219 8659


The House of Lords European Union Committee has today launched an inquiry into the future of the Common Agricultural Policy. The Sub-Committee on Environment and Agriculture will look at how the working of the CAP has evolved since the reforms introduced in 2003 and will consider whether further changes are needed at the EU level.

The European Commission will soon begin a two-stage process of re-assessment including a short-term 'Health Check' followed by a consideration of the long-term policy options. On the basis of evidence from key stakeholders, the Committee's Inquiry will seek to feed into both stages.

Among the questions which the Committee will address are:

  • What should be the long term objectives of the CAP?

  • What difference have the 2003 reforms of the CAP made?

  • What changes could be made to the Single Payment System to improve its operation?

  • How effective has the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development been? How could it be improved?

  • What can the CAP contribute to environmental protection and efforts to tackle climate change?

  • What has been the impact of EU enlargement on the CAP?

The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 11 June 2007. The Committee plans to report at around the end of this year.

Lord Sewel, who chairs the EU Sub-Committee which will conduct the inquiry, said:

"The Common Agricultural Policy is an issue of fundamental importance to the EU. There have been significant changes in the past few years and it is important, particularly in the context of enlargement, that the momentum of reform is maintained.

"There is a unique opportunity now to influence the future of the CAP for the foreseeable future. We hope to be able to inform this debate and look forward to receiving evidence from interested groups and individuals."

Notes to Editors

1. The full call for evidence was issued today and can be found at:

2. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is Monday 11 June 2007

3. The members of the Committee who will conduct the inquiry are:

Lord Sewel ( Chairman)

Lord Bach

Viscount Brookeborough

Lord Cameron of Dillington

Lord Greaves

Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

Lord Moynihan

Lord Plumb

Viscount Ullswater