Support for young farmers in the European Union: How much discretion for Member States?

Anna F. Gall*, Clara L. Bader, Edwin Alblas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Generational renewal is at the heart of the European Union's (EU) agricultural priorities embedded in the Green Deal and Farm to Fark Strategy, since young farmers not only play a vital role in ensuring the competitiveness of European agriculture but also have significant potential in transitioning towards a sustainable agri-food system. However, the number of young farmers across the EU has been rapidly decreasing over time. To address this issue and enable better access of young people to the farming profession, the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) lays down various mechanisms to support young farmers. In case C-119/20, the Court of Justice of the EU took important steps to clarify the exact degree of discretion for Member States in terms of these support schemes, specifically on the definition of a ‘young farmer’, as well as the possibility to accumulate different types of financial support under the CAP. This case note presents the reasoning behind the Court's judgement, before discussing the judgements' impact on young (female) farmers in light of the goal of fostering generational renewal in rural areas and a transformation towards a sustainable agri-food system. We conclude that the Court's decision might threaten to meet the goal of generational renewal, along with associated sustainability goals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-506
Number of pages6
JournalReview of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2023


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