Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Books
Title (Primary) The Common Agricultural Policy post-2020: Views and recommendations from scientists to improve performance for biodiversity. Volume 1 – Synthesis report
Author Pe'er, G.; Birkenstock, M.; Lakner, S.; Röder, N.
Source Titel Thünen Working Paper
Year 2021
Department iDiv; ESS
Volume 175
Page To 112
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords CAP; Common Agricultural Policy; AECM; Eco-schemes; European Union; Biodiversity
Abstract Despite significant efforts, substantial investments and some local successes, the EU’s Common
Agricultural Policy (CAP) has not succeeded in halting the loss of farmland biodiversity. To address
these weaknesses, the CAP post-2020 proposes a new “Green Architecture” comprising, inter alia,
compulsory elements (enhanced conditionality through Good Agricultural and Environmental
Conditions - GAEC), voluntary Agri-Environment-Climate Measures (AECMs), and a new instrument
called “Eco-schemes”. Will this new Green Architecture, combined with a result-based orientation of
the CAP, help address the biodiversity crisis?
To provide science-based feedback on this proposal, more than 300 scientists from 22 Member States
(MSs) have provided their expertise through 13 workshops that took place between October-
December 2020, as well as a follow up online survey. The results are published as Thünen Working
Paper 1751 comprising three volumes: Thünen Working Paper Vol. 1 (this document) contains a
comprehensive synthesis of the results of the workshops alongside experts' assessments of the
flagship Eco-schemes proposed by the European Commission. Thünen Working Paper Vol. 2
contains the full reports of the Member State Workshops (Annex I) and the inputs submitted by the
experts' regarding their opinions on the Flagship-Eco-schemes proposed by the EU Commission
(Annex II)2. A policy brief is published as Thünen Working Paper Vol. 33.
Although the Working Paper focuses on the proposed CAP’s performance for biodiversity as a core
topic, benefits for climate change mitigation and other environmental aspects were highlighted by
workshop participants; and economic considerations were highlighted where relevant.
Six key issues emerged as crucial for the Green Architecture to successfully address the biodiversity
• Protection and restoration of landscape features and semi-natural areas, including grasslands,
should be at the core of the Green Architecture and decisive to its success.
• Habitat diversity and multifunctionality should be prioritised at both the farm and landscape
• Spatial planning is needed in target-setting and implementation.
• Collaborative and result-based approaches can and should be promoted for higher effectiveness
and efficiency.
• A result-based approach is highly recommended for both AECMs and Eco-schemes, with ample
experience to support broader implementation.
• Communication, education and farmer engagement are key to improve acceptance of
compulsory requirements (enhanced conditionality), maximise uptake of effective voluntary measures (AECM and Eco-schemes), enhance learning, and generate a sense of ownership and
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Pe'er, G., Birkenstock, M., Lakner, S., Röder, N. (2021):
The Common Agricultural Policy post-2020: Views and recommendations from scientists to improve performance for biodiversity. Volume 1 – Synthesis report
Thünen Working Paper 175
Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Braunschweig, 112 pp.