SummaryEurope’s CAP: Changes and ChallengesImportant changes have occurred in the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union. The reforms during my term as EU Commissioner have modernised the CAP and prepared European agriculture and rural areas for the opportunities and challenges we face nowadays. Agenda 2000 established the second pillar of the CAP, a trendsetting step for the development of rural areas and European agricultural policies. Another fundamental reform followed in 2003. The CAP and the latest reforms are now being reviewed and further enhanced in the so‐called ‘Health Check’, which will result in a further improvement of the CAP. Adjustments will be introduced as deemed necessary to further simplify the policy, as well as preparing it for new challenges such as climate change, bioenergy, water management and the protection of biodiversity. At the annual Winter Congress of the Ecosocial Forum Austria a range of well‐known scientists, politicians in the field of Austrian agriculture and representatives of private corporations were invited to discuss these challenges in both an Austrian and global context. A key message from the Congress was that strategies have to be developed to ensure sustainable production of biofuel without deteriorating the food security situation in the Least Developed Countries, where food shortages are predicted to quintuple between 2000 and 2030.

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