E-Learning Course on the Common Agricultural Policy

Deadline: 1 November 2011
Open to: First year students and everybody else that has a professional interest in the Common Agricultural Policy
Costs: Free of charge

Groupe de Bruges, in collaboration with SPERA (Interuniversity Centre for Studies on Economic, Rural and Environmental Policies) and Associazione Alessandro Bartola, is developing a comprehensive e-learning course on the CAP. The online e-learning course Learning the Common Agricultural Policy, Learning Your Future will bring participants up to date on both CAP’s history and political context as well as on the current debate on the latest reforms, in a modern and easy accessible way. For over fifty years the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has been at the core of European policies. Its main objectives were and still are to guarantee the European population with sufficient and safe food at reasonable prices and to provide a decent income for European farmers. Over the last decades a series of reforms were deemed necessary to align the CAP with new issues such as environmental degradation, loss of bio diversity, climate change, public health and the viability of rural areas. Not only the content of the CAP has changed, but the political arena as well: the European Union increased from its initial six members to currently 27. In addition, the 2009 Lisbon Treaty gave the European Parliament a larger influence in the EU’s decision making process. The negotiations on trade liberalization in the World Trade Organization (WTO) as well as the emergence of new economic powers such as China, India, Russia and Brazil also had their effects on the policy debate. Currently a new reform of the CAP is being discussed, to be implemented in 2014.

The course can only be followed on-line through an e-learning platform. This gives students the possibility to follow the different modules at their own convenience and in their own pace. Students can choose to either follow one or more specific modules or the whole course (8 modules). Each module has the same structure: an entry test, one or two lessons/lectures and a final test. Each module also offers an extensive list of references. At any point students have the possibility to consult on line with one of the three available tutors. The forum section also offers the option to discuss items with the tutors or fellow students. Numerous leading experts from all over Europe contribute their knowledge and expertise to this course. The course will be available from November 1st, but a preview of one of the modules is already available now. To see the preview, click here.


The course is in the first place developed for any first year student registered at an academic institution in Europe in the field of (agricultural) economics, (rural) sociology, agronomy, European Studies and political science. But also if you are an academic teacher, policy maker or you work for an NGO or lobby organization, this course will provide an essential tool for all people that have a professional interest in the CAP and want to bring their knowledge on (parts of) the CAP up to date quickly.


Because of funding by the European Commission and the French Fondation Léopold Mayer pour le Progrés de l’Homme the course is free of charge. Students/participants that have successfully completed the whole course can receive a passing certificate. For this 50€ of administrative costs will be charged.


Participants can register for the course at any time starting from 1 November 2011. Registration is done on line by visiting the webpage www.groupedebruges.eu. On October 15, between 14.30-15.00 CET time, an on-line and comprehensive presentation of the course will be given. To follow the live web-streaming demonstration on October 15, click here. During the presentation, questions can be asked by sending a tweet to the Groupe de Bruges Twitter account @groupedebruges.

The Course Brochure

The Official Webpage

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