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The farming sector is just one of the key land users in Europe and also thus shapes landscapes in landscape areas. It has actually various direct and indirect impacts on the environment and is itself dependent on organic resources.


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Agricultural floor plays vital role in land use patterns throughout the EU. Grassland and also cropland together consist of 39 % the Europe"s land cover (, 2017a). The agricultural sector is a significant user of herbal resources and has a complicated relationship through the environment (OECD, 2017). The complying with data reflect the performance and also impacts the the farming sector in the EU:

Agriculture is just one of the key sources of nitrates in surface and also ground waters. In number of regions throughout Europe, regularly those with extensive agriculture, nitrate concentrations space still also high.

Two of the main challenges confronting agriculture in Europe space climate change (, 2017c) and land take, i.e. The counter of floor to, because that example, settlements and infrastructure (, 2017a). Climate change requires the adaptation of chop varieties and causes too much weather events (for further information top top climate adaptation, check out the’s work in this field or the Climate-ADAPT Platform) and also thus that demands extensive risk management. Land take it leads come a reduction in agricultural land in numerous regions.

Key trends

Despite the development of the agricultural sector escape on countless factors and local variations in the sector, some an essential trends in ~ the european level can be observed. The ratio of complete land accounted because that by farming land is shrinking and also the ar is influenced by soil take, i.e. Revolution to artificial land. Individually of this, the number of farms is decreasing and also the mean farm dimension increasing.

All three components — land-take, intensification and extensification — bring about loss the High Nature worth Farmland and also a decrease in populations of farmland birds.

In recent years, the agricultural sector has been increasingly affected by excessive weather events. Hail, hefty rainfall, floods and droughts, brought about by climate change, have actually led to decreased yields (, 2017c).

Policy context

The advancement of the agricultural sector is strongly affected by the EU’s Common farming Policy (CAP) (see Köster, 2010). Ever because its creation in the mid-20th century, EU agricultural policy has had actually a solid economic dimension. Yet, over the critical 50 year there has actually been a change in the kind of subsidies provided and a move from a mostly sector-oriented policy to a more integrated rural advancement policy v structural and agri-environmental measures. Currently the CAP features two main pillars:

Pillar 1, under which straight payments come farmers and also market interventions are covered, andPillar 2, under i beg your pardon rural breakthrough programmes room supported.

For the duration 2010-2014, the median share that EU subsidies in agricultural factor income<1> was an ext than 35 %, and that of direct payments to farmers to be 28 %. These figures ranged from an ext than 90 % (total subsidies) and around 45 % (direct payments) in Slovakia to around 15 % and 12 % in the Netherlands (EPRS, 2017). The european Commission’s legal proposal for the CAP post 2020 was released in June 2018. It strives for greater performance orientation as it regards the donation to environmental and also climate targets and ambitions.

Agricultural production is likewise framed by various other EU and international policies, some of which, e.g. The Nitrates Directive and also the Water frame Directive, are already reflected in the architecture of the CAP. Moreover, energy and also climate policies, for example, have additionally driven the increase in energy crop production over the last te (OECD/FAO, 2017).

Furthermore, the sector plays an important role in achieve the missions of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy and the UN Sustainable breakthrough Goals (SDGs). Activities

The works with with other EU organisations, for instance in the compilation the the common set of agri-environmental indicators (AEIs). data are provided within the monitoring and also evaluation of the CAP, e.g. Together input for the compilation of particular so-called context indicators. With its stake in the Copernicus Land surveillance Service, the explores methods to increasingly use Copernicus data for agri-environmental assessments. It also tries to accomplish the demands of the farming sector for planet observation data and also products, e.g. Because that the applications of precision agriculture technologies.

Apart native collaborating closely with the various other EU organisations, the works along with the nationwide Reference Centres in the field of Environment and also Agriculture. These centres kind an inherent part of the’s European atmosphere Information and also Observation Network (Eionet), in i beg your pardon the 38 nations are represented. Synergies through the work-related of other worldwide organisations, such as the organization for financial Co-operation and advance (OECD) and also the Food and farming Organization the the United countries (FAO), take place. The likewise collaborates through the research study community and also expert panels, e.g. With task teams supported under the Horizon2020 programme.

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Recent publications

The current Report "Food in a eco-friendly light" discusses food production and also consumption, acquisition a food mechanism perspective.