Evidence-based agri-environmental policies: The Swedish experience

The paper discusses the evaluation of agri-environmental measures within Axis 2 of the CAP’s Rural Development Programme, focusing on methodological aspects. The evidence analysed is based on experiences from the recent mid-term evaluation of the Swedish Rural Development Programme, which is dominated by agri-environmental measures. The authors identify major weaknesses in the present evaluation procedure (for instance, the use of vague concepts, insufficient availability of suitable evaluation methodology, and lack of suitable empirical data) and suggest remedies to improve the objectivity and scientific rigour of the methodology currently applied.