The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is at the heart of the EU policies. In 2019, the EU support to farmers under the heading “Sustainable growth: Natural resources” was over €57 billion. Being a traditional EU policy area, the CAP aims at, among others, supporting farmers and improving agricultural productivity, ensuring a stable supply of affordable food, safeguarding European Union farmers, maintaining rural areas and landscapes across the EU. In case of such a huge spending area (ca. 38 % of the annual EU budget), financial management is essential. Already in 2019, we looked at specific topics related to agriculture, such as farmers income stabilisation, new imaging technologies for agricultural monitoring, control system for organic products, chemical hazards in food. CAP beyond 2020 will set new objectives and will, among others, slightly adapt income support and also aim high on environmental and climate action.
As the EU’s auditors, we also look ahead in order to help address key challenges facing the EU in future. In line with the new CAP, we will witness closer links between climate change, competition for resources and the preservation of our habitat. Environmentally friendly solutions will be more important in all areas of business and industry, such as transport, construction and agriculture. This will have economic implications locally, nationally and across the EU as a whole.
We will keep all these factors in mind when selecting our audit tasks and formulating recommendations for the future.