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The challenge of land abandonment after 2020 and options for mitigating measures

The purpose of the study for the European Parliament was to investigate the projections of land abandonment in the EU, its drivers and mitigation measures. The results of the study will support decision making of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament with regards to legislative proposals on the Common Agricultural Policy 2020 and the upcoming Commission communication and Action Plan on Rural Areas, due in 2021.

© ÖIR GmbH
Possible Pillar I land abandonment mitigation effects, © BAB/ÖIR GmbH

Key mitigating measures to alleviate the effects of land abandonment include: the improvement of farming conditions (education and training programmes higher financial security, lower threshold for supporting small farms, new investment sources and easier access to land); support to areas with natural constraints (ANC) measures should be better tailored to address the risk of land abandonment; forestry and environmental measures should be adjusted to the different vulnerabilities in different regions and mitigate the negative environmental effects of land abandonment; rural services of general interest (SGIs) and investment in rural infrastructure are essential to support rural communities and it is therefore necessary to make use of synergies between different European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) and between land use and regional development policies. ÖIR, as lead partner, conducted the study together with the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research.

Period of performance: 2020

Project team: Bernd Schuh; Cristian Andronic, Martyna Derszniak-Noirjean, Mailin Gaupp-Berghausen, Chien-Hui Hsiung, Arndt Münch

Partner: Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research (BAB)

Client: European Parliament, Directorate B – Structural and Cohesion Policies

Download: Project description