common agricultural policy (CAP)

(European Union) A set of regulations by which member states of the European Union (EU) seek to merge their individual agricultural programs into a unified effort to promote regional agricultural development, raise standards of living for the farm population, stabilize agricultural markets, increase agricultural productivity, and establish methods of dealing with food supply security. Two of the principal elements of the CAP are the variable levy (an import duty amounting to the difference between EU target farm prices and the lowest available market prices of imported agricultural commodities) and export restitutions, or subsidies, to promote exports of farm goods that cannot be sold within the EU at the target prices.

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