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EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Network
News article16 December 2022

Evaluation stakeholders discuss how best to assess CAP direct payments

Over 90 evaluation stakeholders from across Europe came together in Athens, Greece, to discuss how to assess direct payments under the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – a new obligation for Member States in the 2023-2027 programming period.

Evaluations of CAP direct payments have so far been conducted only at the EU level, but EU Member States are now expected to assess these interventions nationally, in the context of the 2023-2027 programming period and the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (PMEF).

To support this change, the European Evaluation Helpdesk for the CAP organised a Good Practice Workshop in Athens, Greece, on 9-10 November, which explored how to evaluate the impact of direct payments in the new CAP.


“We are looking for much more quantification of the effects of the CAP, including isolating the net impact of the CAP on different indicators – and that requires more complex evaluation methodologies and skills,” said Sophie Helaine, Head of the European Commission’s Unit for Policy Performance (A.3). “That is why it is so important to have Good Practice Workshops because they allow participants to exchange ideas and discuss whether some solutions can be applied in other EU Member States.”

In total, 93 evaluation stakeholders attended the Good Practice Workshop, including representatives from Managing Authorities, evaluators, European Commission representatives, paying agencies, researchers and CAP networks – from 24 EU Member States.

Together, they explored a range of challenges and solutions when evaluating direct payments, with several participants highlighting the need for EU Member States to broaden their range of evaluation approaches, including more advanced econometric methods for assessing net effects. Others highlighted the need for more robust data sources to effectively analyse how direct payment interventions contribute to CAP objectives, with capacity building on data analysis methods also signalled as a growing need for effective evaluations in the future.

Montezuma Dumangane from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre added that another challenge facing direct payment counterfactual evaluations is to understand what is the relevant scenario given that all farms are recipients of these payments and therefore no simple control group can be identified.

“Participants were able to tackle these points by discussing with experienced evaluators on relevant methodologies that could help produce solutions to support CAP direct payment analyses,” Dumangane said.

A report outlining all the key findings from the workshop is currently being prepared. Sign up to CAP Evaluation News to get it sent straight to your inbox or find other highlights from the event and speakers’ presentations here.



Publication date
16 December 2022