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

Comparison with EU-25

Population, 2005 (*1,000,000): 60.8

13.2% of population in EU-25

Population density, 2003 (inh./km2): 112

118 in EU-25

GDP/capita, 2005 (PPS): 25,500

109% of GDP/capita in EU-25

Share agriculture in total employment, 2002 (%): 4

5% in EU-25

Share Utilized Agricultural Area in total land area, 2003 (%): 57

46% in EU-25 in 1998

Average farm size, 2005 (ha): 52

19 in EU-15

Number of farms, 2005 (*1000): 545

8.7% of farms in EU-25

Source: own calculations based on Eurostat

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 arable crops (25% coupled), sheep and goat premium (50% coupled), suckler cow premium (100% coupled), slaughter premium calves (100% coupled), slaughter premium bovine adults (40% coupled), seeds (some species), outermost regions (100% coupled), dairy premium in 2006.

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 (% of total)

No information

Tradability of SPS

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

3% of cultivated area under environmental cover, if relevant adjacent to a watercourse and 5-10 m wide; no pesticide or fertiliser use. National legislation to make this standard more targeted.

soil organic matter

standards for crop rotation where applicable

at least 3 different crops, each at least 5% of cultivated area. Incorporate crop residues into the soil. If not possible, winter cover or crop-waste management obligatory.


arable stubble management

>burning forbidden

soil structure

EXTRA: irrigation standards

national legislation. Authorisation needed for pumping activity and restricted volume. To protect water resources and soil structure.

protection of permanent pastures


implemented at regional level; depending on degree of decrease, criteria defined on local level

minimum level of maintenance

avoiding the encroachment of unwanted vegetation on agricultural land

EXTRA: management of invasive species


EXTRA: set-aside management

Set aside has to be maintained

France focuses on all issues, mainly to protect water resources and soil. Contrary to other Member States, specific legislation on irrigation.

Reason for selection of cross compliance standards

GAECs are according to current national practices.

A.4 Further reform of market regulations

Decoupling of other products, like tobacco, hop etc.

10% deduction in olive sector for funding programmes by producer organisations, hops payments 25% coupled, Annex VII point H and I: olive oil coefficient for decoupling: 1; tobacco coefficient for decoupling: 0.4 (EC, 2007b).


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

B.1 Programme level and approval

There is one national strategy and there are six RDPs, one for Mainland France, one for Corsica and one for each French Overseas Department (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana and Réunion). The Rural Development Committee (consisting of representatives of the 27 Member States) has approved the RDP for Mainland France on 20 June 2007, for Martinique and Réunion on 21 November 2007, for Corsica and Guyana on 20 December 2007 and for Guadeloupe on 24 January 2008.

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

Mainland France





1) Figures excluding Technical Assistance
Source: Own calculations based on Ministère de l’agriculture et de la pêche (2007)

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

In Mainland France, the integration of Leader in one or more axes is not specified. Leader should contribute to the improvement of new approaches to governance and to the mobilization of the endogenous development of local sources and actors.

B.4 Local Action Groups (LAGs)

In Mainland France it is intended to create about 200 LAGs at maximum (compared to 140 LAGs in the previous period). These LAGs should cover at maximum about 55% of the rural area, compared with 42% in the previous period (2000-2006).

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


total public budget

% co-financing EAFRD1)

EAFRD budget

Contribution private sector

Total costs

National top-ups

Mainland France







Total France







1) % of co-financing may vary per axis
Source: Ministère de l’agriculture et de la pêche (2007)

B.6 Less Favoured Areas

In the RDP for Mainland France there is no mentioning of the number of ha that are designed as Less favoured Areas (LFA). In 2005 12,279,000 ha was designed as LFA (41% of UAA). About one third was mountain areas and two thirds were with handicaps other than mountain areas (CEU, 2005).

B.7 Drivers of RDP strategy

Try to implement EU rural development priorities as an addition to the national policy.

The RDP 2007-2013 for Mainland France is written in accordance with new EC rules.*


* Information provided by Marianne Vaes, Agricultural Attaché, Netherlands Embassy, Paris.


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?

The French President Sarkozy launched his views on the future of the CAP in his first big speech on agriculture in Rennes in September 2007 (Financial Times, 2007). According to Sarkozy a reformed CAP need to meet four objectives: food security for Europe, contribute to a growing global demand for food, preserve rural economies, and help combat climate change.

C. 2 Key issues in the debate

Components and role of the CAP (Agra Europe, 2007a and 2007b; Financial Times, 2007)

Organization of the CAP (first and second)

D. Literature, sources, references

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