The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union (EU) recognises that agriculture is multifunctional and that its multifunctional nature should be promoted. Under this expectation, Europe's agricultural areas are required to provide a diverse mixture of market and non-market goods for the private benefit of agricultural businesses on the one hand, and public good on the other. For reasons that are very well understood, a completely liberalised agricultural market cannot be relied on to provide many of the non-market and public goods expected from a multifunctional agriculture, and, given this, some form of regulation of the market or governmental involvement in it is inevitable. One way to view the CAP, then, is as the mechanism by which the public buys non-market goods from Europe's farmers at a price which is sufficient to have them forego alternative activities which produce no public good. The aim of policy optimisation for the CAP, when viewed in this context, is to allow the public to purchase the maximum amount of good for the least cost and to compensate those farmers who are really contributing to social welfare.
|Title of host publication||Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2010|