A key objective in the EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change (COM (2013) 216 final) is to ensure mainstreaming, i.e. integration, of adaptation measures into European sectoral policies. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is one such sectoral policy which is prioritised in the strategy as an area to be climate proofed. The CAP is under revision and will be reformed for the 2014-2020 period with the explicit objectives of strengthening the competitiveness and the sustainability of agriculture (EC). Climate change adaptation objectives are included in the proposal for a greening of the single payment scheme (2011/0280 (COD), and the proposal for the Rural Development Fund also specifically sets out climate change adaptation as a cross-cutting objective to which rural development funding must contribute 2011/0282 (COD). This paper therefore examines the most important challenges to adaptation in agricultural production and analyses to what extent the reformed CAP as currently proposed will provide the tools to deal with the key vulnerabilities and adaptation needs. Specifically, the paper analyses the policy instruments available in the CAPs 1st and 2nd pillars and assesses their suitability for addressing climate change adaptation, given the knowledge available in the literature and policy analyses on effective adaptation measures. At the same time, the CAP and not least the Rural Development Program are to contribute to and integrate multiple policy objectives, including other environmental objectives as well as fostering innovation and ensuring viable rural areas. This raises the question as to the strength of the mainstreaming mandate laid out in the Climate change adaptation strategy, particularly when policy objectives conflict or when they simply compete for attention. Thus, the paper will also analyze the institutional mechanisms available in the adaptation strategy in order to assess their strength with regards to mainstreaming adaptation into agricultural policy. The paper is based on analysis of key EU policy documents and compares the policy instruments and the institutional mechanisms laid out against the academic and policy relevant literature on policy integration and coordination.
poliy integration,; climate adaptation; agricultural policy; EU