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The Policy Department works for the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI). It is responsible for supporting AGRI parliamentary work with relevant expertise. The Committee decides, on a regular basis, on the research programme that would fit best with the needs of the ongoing parliamentary work.

In the view of the upcoming elections to the European Parliament in May 2019, the AGRI Committee has mandated the Policy Department to conduct three studies next year to provide an overview of providing an overview of subjects of general interest for the AGRI Committee. They will focus in particular on the main challenges and opportunities around several strategic issues for the years ahead. The Programme will give newly elected Members or Members new to the AGRI Committee an expert perspective on the policy areas covered by their new role.

The scope of the three studies is briefly outlined below.

Megatrends in the agri-food sector: global overview and possible policy response from an EU perspective

This study will explore the challenges that demand and supply trends pose to food and agriculture and suggest possible options on how the EU could meet these challenges. Although agricultural investments and technological innovations are boosting productivity, growth of yields has slowed to rates that are too low for matching the increase in the world population, which is expected to grow to almost 10 billion by 2050. At the same time, critical parts of food systems are becoming more capital-intensive, vertically integrated, and concentrated in fewer hands. By looking at these structural changes from different angles, ranging from new social/consumers’ expectations to food production and distribution developments, the study will reinforce MEPs knowledge of the multi-faceted nature of the challenges ahead.

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The EU farming employment: current challenges and future prospects

The objective of this study is to evaluate the main determinants of the labour force in the EU agricultural sector based on latest farming economic and structural data (2015 and 2016). The paper will analyse in particular the remuneration of farm workers, the progressive ageing of agricultural work force, the role of salaried workers in some specific sectors, the role of pluri-activity, and the labour market’s impacts on the development of non-family farms. It will also assess progress on the contributions of the agricultural sector to the ‘European Pillar of Social Rights’ commitments made by the European Commission.

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New opportunities in Research and Innovation in Agriculture : the Horizon Europe programme (2021-2027) and the bioeconomy

This research project will be carried out in house by the services of the European Parliament. The focus will be to evaluate how research programmes under the new programming period could promote the recently adopted Commission action plan (October 2018) to develop a sustainable and circular bioeconomy that serves Europe’s society, environment and the economy. The updated EU bio-economy strategy aims to speed up the transformation of EU agriculture into a sustainable, resource-efficient and circular farming model. It is intended to reduce the dependence on natural resources, transform manufacturing, promote sustainable production of renewable resources from land, fisheries and aquaculture and their conversion into food, feed, fibre, bio-based products and bio-energy, while creating new jobs and helping industries grow. The new Horizon Europe programme will replace the previous Horizon 2020 programme for the 2021-2017 programming period. With an estimated € 10 billion earmarked for Agriculture, it will be instrumental in promoting the EU’s transition towards an optimal and renewable use of biological resources and towards sustainable primary production and processing systems.

This research project will be carried out in house by the services of the European Parliament. If you are interested to learn about this project or have any comments or suggestions, please send an email to



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