Authors: Miranda García and Serafín Pazos-Vidal (AEIDL)

Networking will play an important role in improving the quality of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) strategic plans implementation. To increase the involvement of all stakeholders in this process, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development has established the European (EU) CAP Network, merging the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) and the European Innovation Partnership for agricultural productivity and sustainability (EIP-AGRI).

This new platform, officially launched on 6th of October, will serve for knowledge and information exchange, for peer-to-peer learning, and for sharing experiences and good practices in the implementation of the CAP for the 2021-2027 programming period.

The main objectives of CAP Network are:

  • foster stakeholder involvement in the preparation and implementation of the CAP Strategic Plans; 
  • support Member States’ implementation of the Strategic Plans and shift towards a performance-based approach to result delivery; 
  • enable peer-to-peer learning and facilitate the interaction between agricultural and rural actors; 
  • encourage innovation and promote participation of all stakeholders concerned in knowledge-exchange activities; 
  • provide support to stakeholders in their monitoring and evaluation processes, and; 
  • support the dissemination of the results achieved by the Strategic Plans.

The EU CAP Network will be a space to connect different actors across the EU optimising the flow of information about agriculture and rural policy while the CAP is being implemented at the same time. 

Experienced policy analysts, network facilitators and communicators, and a pool of experts are being part of this new platform that is supporting DG AGRI in ensuring the correct fulfilment of the objectives set in each national agriculture policy.

This can include rural digitalisation. The CAP Network can be an ideal platform to put into practice, on a domestic and a European scale, the ideas stemming from DESIRA. Each Member State will have a National CAP Network (replacing the existing National Rural Networks). This is an opportunity for the DESIRA community to link with these and other national rural networks so that the DESIRA briefings , policy briefs and practice abstracts reach a much wider audience. This is a very practical way for the DESIRA project outputs to both feeding into forward-looking EU policy thinking as well as being potentially translated to tangible projects on the ground.