Research group Ecosystem Service Change

Fitness Check of the Common Agricultural Policy

Contacts Partners Funding Publications

Short description

An interdisciplinary team has evaluated the CAP performance from socio-economic and environmental perspectives (including climate, soil, water, biodiversity and ecosystem services, as well as animal welfare), and assessed the CAP’s relevance and potential contribution to fulfilling the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since 2017, the authors have assessed the EC’s proposal for the CAP post-2020, evaluated the reform process, and are continuously engaged in developing recommendations.

Considering ongoing declines in biodiversity and ecosystem services, the project aims to enhance the contribution of the EU’s agricultural policy to halt these losses using best knowledge. To this end, the project specifically aims to improve the state of our knowledge, as well as its uptake in agricultural policy.

For more information, visit the CAP Fitness-check website:


Dr. Guy Pe'er

Phone: +49 (0)341 235 1047




This project is funded by sDiv well as (for the Fitness Check) BirdLife, EEB, NABU, Greens in the European Parliament, S & D in the European Parliament.


Pe’er, G., Zinngrebe, Y., Moreira, F., Sirami, C., Schindler, S., Müller, R., Bontzorlos, V., Clough, D., Bezák, P., Bonn, A., Hansjürgens, B., Lomba, A., Möckel, S., Passoni, G., Schleyer, C., Schmidt, J. & Lakner, S. (2019) A greener path needed for the EU Common Agricultural Policy. Science, 365, 449-451.

Lakner, S., C. Holst, A. Dittrich, C. Hoyer, and G. Pe'er (2019) Impacts of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Pages 383-389 in Atlas of Ecosystem Services – Risks and Opportunities. (eds Matthias Schröter, Stefan Klotz, Aletta Bonn, Ralf Seppelt, & C. Baessler). Springer.

Moreira, F., Pe'er, G. (2018). Agricultural policy can reduce wildfires. Science 359, 1001.

Pe’er, G., S. Lakner, R. Müller, G. Passoni, V. Bontzorlos, D. Clough, F. Moreira, C. Azam, J. Berger, P. Bezak, A. Bonn, B. Hansjürgens, L. Hartmann, A. Lomba, A. Sahrbacher, S. Schindler, C. Schleyer, J. Schmidt, S. Schüler, C. Sirami, M. von Meyer-Höfer, and Y. Zinngrebe (2017). Is the CAP Fit for purpose? An evidence-based fitness-check assessment. Leipzig, November 2017, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig. 260 pp.

Zinngrebe, Y., Pe'er, G., Schueler, S., Schmitt, J., Schmidt, J. & Lakner, S. (2017) The EU’s Ecological Focus Areas – explaining farmers’ choices in Germany. Land Use Policy, 65, 93-108.

Pe'er, G., Y. Zinngrebe, J. Hauck, S. Schindler, A. Dittrich, S. Zingg, T. Tscharntke, R. Oppermann, L. M. E. Sutcliffe, C. Sirami, J. Schmidt, C. Hoyer, C. Schleyer, and S. Lakner. (2017). Adding some green to the greening: improving the EU’s Ecological Focus Areas for biodiversity and farmers. Conservation Letters 10: 517-530