The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the EU's system of agricultural subsidies and programmes, representing around 48 % of the EU's budget. It deals with direct subsidies for crops and land, including price support mechanisms, import tariffs and quotas on some goods from outside the EU. With this in mind, the EU-funded project 'Cross-compliance network' (CC Network) brought stakeholders together to investigate current research on cross-compliance related to the CAP. It aimed to identify priority areas to help support cross-compliance in the CAP in order to modernise the sector and promote sustainable agriculture. The consortium produced 14 key papers that underlined progress in three project seminars that had attracted dozens of stakeholders from various EU countries and the European Commission. Importantly, the main focus of the project was on the environmental aspect of cross-compliance. The first seminar held in 2006 discussed administration of cross-compliance, environmental relevance, rural development measures and the farm advisory system. At the second seminar held that same year, topics covered impacts of cross-compliance on farm management, land use, land abandonment, effects on environment, private certification schemes, farm costs and competitiveness. The project recommended new policy options for cross-compliance based on the results of the seminars and outlined future research needs to improve implementation of cross-compliance. This culminated in a final workshop held in Brussels in 2007 and a subsequent research paper titled Practice, lessons and recommendations on cross compliance. The paper highlighted gaps that must be addressed to improve future policy decisions. In short, the project set the pace for improving cross-compliance in the sector and establishing policies that strengthen the CAP.