Notes to the editors:
European Court of Auditors (ECA) special reports are published throughout the year, presenting the results of selected audits of specific EU budgetary areas or management topics.
This special report (No 4/2014) entitled “Integration of EU water policy objectives with the CAP: a partial success”,assessed whether the objectives of EU water policy had been successfully integrated into the CAP but found that to date they had only partially been so. This was due to a mismatch between the ambition of the policy objectives and the instruments used to effect change. The audit highlighted weaknesses in the two instruments currently used by the Commission to integrate water concerns into the CAP (namely cross-compliance and rural development) and pointed out delays and weaknesses in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive.
While the EU auditors concluded that cross-compliance and rural development funding have led to positive results in improving water quantity and quality, they noted that these instruments are limited. They are not commensurate with the policy ambitions set for the CAP and the even more ambitious goals set by the CAP regulations for the 2014-2020 period. The ECA also found that monitoring and evaluation systems, both directly related to the CAP and those providing more general data did not provide the information necessary to fully inform policy-making as regards pressures on water coming from agricultural activities, though noting some useful initiatives.
Based on its findings, the ECA recommended that:
A short video interview with the ECA Member responsible for the report is available at: https://www.youtube.com/user/EUAuditorsECA