What is the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)?

The CAP is a common policy for all EU countries and works towards a number of key objectives


Ensure a fair income for farmers


Preserve landscapes and biodiversity


Increase competitiveness


Support generational renewal


Improve the position of farmers in the food chain


Vibrant rural areas


Climate change action


Protect food and health quality


Environmental care


Foster knowledge and innovation

The new CAP supports agriculture and communities in making a much stronger contribution to the goals of the Green Deal:

Higher Green Ambitions

CAP plans will be in line with environmental and climate legislation. Each EU country will be obliged to display a higher ambition on environment and climate action and will be required to update the plan when legislation is modified.


At least 25% of the budget for direct payments will be allocated to eco-schemes, providing stronger incentives for climate-and environment-friendly farming approaches.

Contribute to the Green Deal targets

The national CAP strategic plans will contribute to the Green Deal targets (the CAP recommendations set out how this contribution is expected).

Rural development and operational programmes

A proportion of funds will also be allocated to measures to support climate, biodiversity, environment, and animal welfare.

Enhanced conditionality

Beneficiaries of the CAP will have their payments linked to a stronger set of mandatory requirements. Wetlands and peatlands will also be protected.

Climate and biodiversity

40% of the CAP budget will have to be climate-relevant and strongly support the general commitment to dedicate 10% of the EU budget to biodiversity objectives.

What is Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan?

€9.8 billion

Budget Approx.


Direct income support



Rural Developments interventions
(+ national co-financing)

National strategy for implementing CAP in Ireland (2023-2027)

New performance-based approach instead of previous compliance approach.

Three main approaches to supporting sustainable development of farming and food sector:

  • Supporting viable farm incomes and enhancing competitiveness
  • Strengthening the socio-economic fabric of rural areas
  • Contributing to the achievement of environmental and climate objectives at national and EU levels

Learn more about Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan