Contracting Party: Progress Consulting S.r.l. (subcontracting within the Framework Contract for studies in the fields of agriculture, health and maritime policy with the European Committee of the Regions)
This study, led by Progress Consulting S.r.l., is the mid-term evaluation of the first of the three priority domains addressed by the ‘Action Plan for the future of Organic Production in the European Union’. The first priority domain aims at increasing the competiveness of European Union organic producers by means of three main strands of EU competency which group a total of nine actions. The evaluation was commissioned by the European Committee of the Regions on the basis of the several shortcomings of the Action Plan which were outlined by relevant stakeholders since its publishing in March 2014. The evaluation encompasses a combination of approaches, from desk research to the selection and analysis of measurable indicators, and to the consultation with stakeholders by means of an online questionnaire. Overall, the evaluation concludes that the effectiveness of the actions under the first priority domain is importantly hampered by several aspects, including: an insufficiently conducive policy environment for organic farming at the EU level; a limited monitoring capacity of the organic sector; a limited ownership of the Action Plan by relevant stakeholders, including local and regional authorities (LRAs); an insufficient communication of the Action Plan, including to LRAs; and a lack of coordination of the EU Action Plan with national and regional actions.