General country description
A. First pillar: implementation of CAP reforms (2003)
B. Second pillar: implementation of RDP measures during 2007-2013
C. Vision for the CAP beyond 2013: a short overview of the debate (at Member State level) on future CAP reform
D. Literature, sources, references
The comparative analysis provides a compact overview of CAP implementation across all 27 Member States and their visions of the future of the CAP

General country discription

Austria *
Comparison with EU-25

Population, 2005 (*1,000,000): 8.2

1.8% of population in EU-25

Population density, 2003 (inh./km2): 97

118 in EU-25

GDP/capita, 2005 (PPS): 28,600

122% of GDP/capita in EU-25

Share agriculture in total employment, 2002 (%): 5

5% in EU-25

Share Utilized Agricultural Area in total land area, 2003 (%): 41

46% in EU-25 in 1998

Average farm size, 2005 (ha): 20

19 in EU-15

Number of farms, 2005 (*1000): 137.0

2.1% of farms in EU-25

* The Eurostat-figures differ from the national statistics . As to agricultural figures these differences are considerable due to other definitions of farm and types of farms. The average farm size in 2005 is according to the Green Report (2006) 18,4 ha and the number of farms 176,8. Furthermore, Austria has farm types that don’t fit into the Eurostat classification. Farms with forestry and mountain grasslands are not differentiated. Nearly 25% of the Agricultural Utilised area in Austria is mountain grassland, and the forest area is about as large as the area in agricultural use.

Distribution of farming types, 2005 (% of total)

Source: own calculations based on Eurostat

EU funding for the Single Payment Scheme (SPS)
and the second pillar, 2007-2013

* Funding according to CAP budget including Bulgaria and Romania. Sources: Agra Europe (2007); CEU (2006); EC (2007a)


A. First pillar: implementation CAP reform (2003)

A.1 Single Payment Scheme


SPS historical (EC, 2007b)

Coupling measures

Complete decoupling, except for 25% coupling of hops premium, 100% coupling of suckler cows, 100 % coupling of slaughter premium meat calves, 40% coupling of adult cattle; decoupling of dairy premium from 2007 onwards.

Reason for selection

A.2 EU budget for Single Payment Scheme (SPS) per year (National ceiling) 2005-2013

Source: 2005: EC (2006); 2006-2013: CEU (2006) and Agra Europe (2007)

Share of the farms that receive SPS of the total number of farms (2005) (% of total)

About 92%

Tradability of SPS

Yes, within Austria but entitlements are only transferable and in no case tradable, but only from owner of those entitlements to the tenant of the respective areas.

A.3 Cross-compliance: Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC)

(Source: IEEP, 2005;)

Selected standards of the GAEC

Summary of farmers’ obligations

soil erosion

minimum soil cover

Green cover must be maintained over the vegetation period unless this conflicts with nature protection regulations or agreements.


minimum land management reflecting site-specific conditions



retain terraces

Farmers must follow procedure if terraces are to be cleared

soil organic matter

arable stubble management

no burning, unless authorized

soil structure

appropriate machinery use

no ground preparation when ground is frozen, saturated, flooded, snow cover; no ground preparation close to water surface (5 or 10 m depending on water body)

protection of permanent pastures


Austrian guidance material; at decrease levels of 5 or 10%, belonging regulation; no conversion permitted in Alps and close to water bodys

minimum level of maintenance

retention of landscape features

removal forbidden, also within areas protected by nature conservation law


avoiding the encroachment of unwanted vegetation on agricultural land

no shrub or tree invasion


EXTRA: set-aside management

at maximum 50% of farm area

Austria pays attention to all issues mentioned in GAEC. The criteria refer to national legislation. Almost all measures protect against soil erosion and retain natural vegetation.

Reason for selection of cross compliance standards

No information.

A.4 Further reform of market regulations


Prohibiting of ‘chaptalization’* , has been up to now a traditional technique and must be possible in future too. Allocation of funds: no sufficient funding for offensive measures in EU and third country markets, too much funding for “passive” measures, like clearing of vineyards!
National possibilities are neither sufficient nor is there foreseen sufficient funding for national measures! Distribution of EU funding should not follow the former distribution of distillation funding – punishes those member states who had been mostly producing high quality wine!
Moving of parts of the foreseen 1,3 billion € funding for the wine sector to the second pillar, including its reservation for the wine sector there – not necessary, Austria using already the possibilities of second pillar by the program for ‘Integrated production’ in the wine sector!

Fruit and vegetables

No information.
Decision made in Agricultural Council meeting in June 2007: Complete decoupling of processing of fruit and vegetables within 4 years for tomatoes and within 5 years for permanent crops (e.g. citrus). Role of producer organisation strengthened, especially in crisis prevention and -management.

Decoupling of other products, like tobacco, hop etc.

Simplification into one market regulation

Austria signals different problems as to simplification of CMO’s: ceasing of instruments of today existing CMO’s go beyond a purily technical procedure, problem of technical character are not always handled sufficiently before political decision process in COREPER. At the moment there is cooperation between EC and MS, this should not be abolished! Any product and product market is quite different from the others and needs its own experts to discuss and decide on measures, economic developments, etc. **

* Chaptalization is the process of adding sugar to unfermented grape in order to increase the alcohol content after fermentation.
** Information from Martin Krachler, OEVAF.


B. Second pillar: implementation of RDP measures 2007-2013

B.1 Programme level and approval

There is one national RDP. The Rural Development Committee (consisting of representatives of the 27 Member States) has approved the RDP for Austria on 20 September 2007.

B.2 Distribution of public budget over the axes (%) 1)

axis 1: competitiveness

axis 2: environment and land management

axis 3: rural economy

Axis 4: Leader





1) Figures excluding Technical Assistance Source: Own calculations based on Lebensministerium (2007)

B.3 Integration of Leader in axes 1, 2 and 3

Leader contributes to Axes 1 and 2 and especially to Axis 3. In addition, Leader should have an important contribution to the improvement of new horizontal approaches to governance and to the mobilization of the endogenous development of the countryside (Lebensministerium, 2007).

B.4 Local Action Groups (LAGs)

The Austrian government has the intention to create about 100 LAGs, which is an increase compared to 56 LAGS in the previous period. The 100 LAGs will cover 73 km2 (Lebensministerium, 2007).

B.5 RDP budget 2007-2013 (million euros)

Budgets regional RDPs in Austria 2007-2013 (million euros)

total public budget

% co-financing EAFRD1)

EAFRD budget

Contribution private sector

Total costs

National top-ups


Non-convergence regions: 49 Convergence regions: 74





1) % of co-financing may vary per axis Source: Lebensministerium (2007)

B.6 Less Favoured Areas

In the period 2007-2013 payments will be available for a total estimated Less Favoured Area (LFA) of 1,570,000 ha, of which 1,250,000 ha mountain area and 320,000 ha area with other handicaps (Lebensministerium, 2007: 113). Furthermore there are areas with environmental restrictions (not specified). This is a decrease compared to 2005, when 2,553,000 ha (72% of UAA) was designed as LFA (CEU, 2005).

B.7 Drivers of RDP strategy

Fit within national policy.
The RDP 2007-2013 for Austria corresponds to Austria’s national development targets for agriculture and rural areas (Austrian Agriculture Act), the 'STRAT.AT, budgetary policies of national and regional governments, evaluations of former RDPs and the SWOT – Analysis of the new RDP before presenting it to the EC'.*

* Information provided by Martin Krachler, Austrian Association for Agricultural and Environmental Research (OeVAF), Wien.


C. Vision on the CAP beyond 2013*

C.1 Stages in the development of the CAP debate

Is there a debate about the CAP beyond 2013?

Yes, there is a fruitful and  intensive discussion among governments at national and regional level, NGOs, farmers organizations, science and the broader public.

C.2 Key issues in the debate

Components and role of the CAP

Organization of the CAP (first and second pillar)

Financing of the CAP

* Information provided by Martin Krachler, Austrian Association for Agricultural and Environmental Research (OeVAF), Wien.

D. Literature, sources, references

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