Round tables on the green architecture of the CAP

Round tables on the green architecture of the CAP

Zelie Peppiette
Other Organisations
DGs ENV (input)
DGs CLIMA (input)
DGs SANTE (input)


These events, organised in conjunction with the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN) brought together agricultural and environmental stakeholders to explore the potential of the CAP legal proposals to support both environmental objectives and sustainable farming.

They are organised in a participatory manner, designed to foster dialogue and develop relationships between stakeholders, and to identify how the CAP legal proposals could be implemented via the CAP Strategic Plans to address the objectives and concerns of both agricultural and environmental stakeholders. The first two meetings lead to the identification of some policy packages which were subsequently presented to Member States and included in publications and presentations.

Two day long events were held in November and December 2018 and a third, lasting one and a half days, is being organised in October 2019. Around 50 stakeholder representatives were invited to each meeting.

Initiated by DG AGRI, in conjunction with a third party (IUCN), to explore how the legal proposals could be implemented to achieve both environment/climate objectives and support sustainable farming.

Participation Spectrum

When and Where

Start Year
End Year

Policy Context

Specific Topic
Exploring how the green architecture of the CAP as set out in the legal proposals could be used on the ground to achieve environmental/sustainability goals.


Communities or representatives involved
Agricultural and environmental stakeholder organisations. Advisory and research organisations.
How were the Participants selected?
Through what means citizens knew about the call for participation?
Individual invitation letters were sent to each organisation. The event was also listed on AGRI website. Participation was by invitation only.


Methodologies used
Methodology description
The events were designed as hosted participatory processes, using a variety of participatory technologies, for example, check-in, check-out, circle, pro-action café, open space, designing for wiser action. The October 2019 meeting is planned to include a policy lab session.
Tools Used
Spaces Used


Main Outcomes and Lasting Achievement
- Tangible:
Contribution to AGRI publication:
Various presentations (including to EIP AGRI project HNV-Link final conference in Montpellier, Expert Groups and CDGs)

- Intangible:
Fostering constructive relationships between stakeholders, which for example could have an effect on their interaction with MS during the development of CAP Strategic Plans, developing understanding of the legal proposals and creative ideas on how policy can support environment/climate/sustainability objectives.
How were the outcome taken up within the process they were carried out?
- The outcomes have been widely circulated, including to MS involved in the ongoing co-decision process. Stakeholders who participated also took up the outcomes in their interactions.
- Ideas generated have been used in-house (AGRI) when considering how the policy framework could be used.
- Participants are encouraged to be actively involved at MS level in the development of CAP Strategic Plans.
- Some of the ideas raised can be identified in amendments proposed by EP.
Other Feedback
They contributed to the event bulletin and reported on the event in other fora .
Were the methodologies used elsewhere?
Several of the participants said that they would like to use similar methodologies in their own work.


Reason for such challenges and solutions
- We asked for those attending to be comfortable in English, and we know this influenced the choice of participants of some organisations.
- Experienced hosts were identified through personal contact, and gave their time for this in addition to their normal daily work. It would be good if the Commission/DGs could recognise this type of contribution that colleagues make.
- The Commission lacks suitable premises for organising participatory events - flexible spaces with moveable furniture, walls that can be used to display work in progress etc. This increases costs (use of external premises) and reduces flexibility (increases lead times, use of contracts restricts last minute adaptation etc). More meeting spaces with adequate facilities are needed!
Lessons Learn
Lessons not only from this exercise, but others too:
1. It is both important and informative to involve citizens/stakeholders - it leads to better policy making, and more informed citizens.
2. Participative approaches are extremely valuable to allow stakeholders' voices to be heard. This is more challenging than classic conferences/seminars and requires more careful and time-consuming design, but is worthwhile.
3. Involving citizens/stakeholders is an act of trust - if we want to be taken seriously we need to genuinely commit to listen to the outcomes of such events - this type of activity cannot be used as a smokescreen for "business as usual".
1. Encourage more citizen engagement.
2. Involve citizens/stakeholders early in the policy process (prior to development of legal proposals).
3. Design engagement activities participatively.