CORDIS - EU research results

Cross-compliance network

Final Report Summary - CC NETWORK (Cross-compliance network)

The CC NETWORK project was a Specific Support Action with Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) funding that commenced on 1 November 2005 and concluded on 30 April 2007. The project was coordinated by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), United Kingdom and involves eight other organisations from eight other Member States, as follows: Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) (Greece), AScA (France), Bundesforschungsanstalt fur Landwirtschaft (FAL) (Germany), CLM Research and Advice (Netherlands), Institute for Structural Policy of the Czech Republic (IREAS), Institute Nazionale di Economia Agraria (INEA) (Italy), Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics (LIAE) and the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University of Denmark (KVL).

The project had two primary objectives:
1.To bring together stakeholders to discuss research to date on cross compliance in the common agricultural policy (CAP).
2. To identify priority areas for future research to support the development of cross compliance in the CAP and its role in the modernisation and sustainability of agriculture.

The project produced a total of 14 papers to inform discussion at three seminars, at which between 50 and 75 stakeholders from a range of Member States, the European Commission, and relevant interest groups attended. The focus of the project was the environmental aspect of cross compliance. The project has its own dedicated website at:

During the first year of the project, a total of ten research papers were prepared. Four of these papers were presented at the first seminar organised by AScA and held in Paris, France on 3 July 2006. A total of 57 individuals attended the seminar and participated in workshop discussions to discuss the key issues raised by each paper. The topics presented were as follows: the administration of cross compliance; the environmental relevance of cross compliance rules; the relationship between cross compliance and rural development measures; and cross compliance and the farm advisory system. Six further research papers were prepared for the second project seminar held on 14 November 2006 in Copenhagen, attended by 64 people. The topics addressed were as follows: the potential impacts of cross compliance on farm management and land use; cross compliance and land abandonment; the likely effects of cross compliance on the environment; the relationship between cross compliance and private certification schemes and the impact of cross compliance on farm costs and competitiveness.

Two conference bulletins were produced, one after each of the first two seminars, and sent to 810 individuals in order to disseminate the first results of the project to a wider audience. These bulletins summarised the results to date and included contributions from outside the project team.

The final stages of the project focused on the development of a number of future policy options for cross compliance. These policy options drew on the results of the papers presented in Paris and Copenhagen, and provided a platform from which to analyse the implementation of the policy and therefore to identify future research needs in relation to improving the future implementation of cross compliance. This phase of work culminated with a final workshop held in Brussels on 26 April 2007. This event attracted an audience of 75 individuals including officials from the European Commission, national administrations, stakeholder groups and researchers. Breakout sessions were utilised to gain consensus on research priorities. The results of this workshop fed into the final output of the project, a research paper entitled 'Practice, lessons and recommendations on cross compliance.'

The final event and research paper provided a timely input into the Commission's and wider policy community's deliberations on cross compliance in 2007, following on in particular from DG Agriculture's report on the implementation of cross compliance in March 2007 and deliberations on the scope of cross compliance expected to take place in the 2008 health check. The final deliverable highlights there are knowledge gaps that need to be filled in order for the policy community to have a suitable understanding on which to base future policy decisions. Further research is required to enhance our understanding of both the implementation and impacts of cross compliance.