Sustainability and resilience of European farming systems: an integrated assessment

Project: PhD

Project Details


An increasing variety of stresses and shocks provides challenges for EU farming systems. As a consequence, the sustainability and resilience of EU’s diverse farming systems is at stake. In particular the possible presence of economic, social or environmental thresholds in farming systems is worrying, as beyond those thresholds permanent and undesired system change may happen. The aim of this thesis is to operationalize a resilience framework and to assess the sustainability and resilience of current and future EU farming systems. Sustainability of a system is in this thesis defined as an adequate performance of all system functions across the environmental, economic and social domains. Resilience can be defined as the capacity to resist change without changing its feedback system and functionality, i.e. robustness, while acknowledging the possibility of alternative stable states that can be realized through adaptation or transformation. The following research questions are central in this thesis: 1) Is there a balance between social, economic and environmental functions in terms of importance and performance? 2) Are European farming systems approaching critical thresholds? 3) What resilience capacities do and should European farming systems have? 4) What strategies enhance sustainability and resilience of European farming systems?
Effective start/end date8/06/1724/10/22


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