Representative Agricultural Pathways for Europe

Anne Biewald


Agricultural aspects have been covered in the scenario process on shared socio-economic pathways (SSPs), but only to a limited extent. In order to analyze the future dynamics of agricultural development they need to be complemented and specified by Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs), which cover different aspects of agricultural development as for example European agricultural and domestic policy, environmental policies,  different livestock management systems, cropping systems or irrigation efficiencies.

In this paper we will develop a general framework for RAPs where we define for each SSP the corresponding specific agricultural development. Some aspects of the above mentioned specifics can be derived from the definitions in the SSPs, as for example irrigation efficiencies which are linked to technological development. Agricultural policies on the other hand are not included in the SSP definitions. Here we will define agricultural and environmental policies, including the available funding in each area of the common agricultural policy (CAP) (pillars 1 and 2).


As RAPs can only to a small degree be developed as European guidelines and implemented unilaterally, it is important to translate the overall storylines into specific scenario parameterization at national levels. Concerned by this are 1. national policies, as well as the agri-environmental schemes of the CAP in Pillar II, 2. livestock efficiencies and the development of extensive and intensive farm management, and  3. crop management systems.

Additionally we will define which respresentative concentration pathways (RCPs) will match best the future agricultural and agro-economic trajectories.


The following 5 preliminary RAPs for Europe will be further developed in our analysis:

  • EU-RAP1 (Sustainable Europe) : strong CAP, strong shift on environmental regulation, no producer support, green CAP with strong mititgation component
  • EU-RAP2 (Middle of the road): BAU or things will stay as they are.
  • EU-RAP3 (Fragmented Europe): Europe breaks up, rich countries support farmers with national subsidies, poor countries do not. There is no CAP anymore
  • EU-RAP4 (Two Europes): Europe is divided in a poor and a rich part. In the rich part a green and environmental friendly  CAP will be implemented, in the poor part of Europe, the CAP will cease to exist
  • EU-RAP5(Fossil fueled Europe): free market world, strong institutions, weak on enviromental regulations, low domestic polices? Local green CAP without mitigation


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