It seeks to make a case that the optimal long-term pathway for the CAP must strike a balance in which the policy’s primary aims – viable food production to ensure food security, territorial balance, and environmental sustainability – are mutually reinforcing and thereby optimally achieved.

The value of the ecosystems approach is that it provides a conceptual framework that integrates the provisioning services of food, energy and forest products with regulating, supporting and cultural services that are all underpinned by healthy biodiversity. Only by recognizing this intrinsic interdependence between nature and our food production can we devise an appropriate agricultural policy which embraces the aim of protecting and strengthening the resilience of ecological systems as a core organizing principle.

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This report was produced with funding from the European Environment Agency (EEA) under Framework Contract EEA/IEA/09/003, Agreement 20. The authors of the report are solely responsible for its contents and conclusions.