The EU’s farm sector and rural areas are major players in terms of the Union’s well-being and its future. EU agriculture is one of the world’s leading producers of food and guarantees food security for over 500 million European citizens. The EU’s farmers are also the first stewards of the natural environment, as they care for the natural resources of soil, water, air and biodiversity on 48% of the EU’s land (foresters a further 36%) and provide essential carbon sinks and the supply of renewable resources for industry and energy. They also depend directly on these natural resources. Large numbers of jobs depend on farming, either within the sector itself (which provides regular work for 22 million persons) or within the wider food sector (farming, food processing and related retail and services together provide around 44 million jobs). The EU’s rural areas as a whole are home to 55% of its citizens1 while serving as major bases for employment, recreation, and tourism.