Overview of the Common Agricultural Policy (2014–2020)
Overview of the Common Agricultural Policy (2014–2020)

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Overview of the Common Agricultural Policy (2014–2020)
  • Introduction
  • Pillar 1 direct payment support
  • The 2020 claim year
  • Pillar 2 rural development support
  • Transfers between pillars
  • Cross compliance
  • Double funding
  • Milk quota
  • Sugar quota

Brexit: The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. This has implications for the schemes providing for agricultural subsidies in England and Wales, which will no longer be derived from EU Common Agricultural Policy. We will introduce content to address the new regimes once the relevant legislation (including the Agriculture Bill) has been enacted.


The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the package of legislation and practices adopted by the European Union (EU) to provide a common, unified policy on agriculture across member states. The CAP has two pillars of support: direct support and rural development support.

The CAP is periodically reformed, with the most recent reforms applying for the 2014–2020 period. Although 2014 was the projected commencement year for the reformed CAP, the time taken by European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission to reach agreement on the required regulations has meant that the new rules on direct payments and rural development support only came into force on 1 January 2015.

The EU has allowed each member state a degree of flexibility to decide how to implement the reformed CAP at the domestic level. In the UK, implementation is a devolved matter, so the reformed CAP will be implemented differently in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Pillar 1 direct payment