The EU budget is one of the most important financial tool in the hands of national governments. It’s also the number one financial instrument at disposal of EU institutions to boost climate action across the bloc. It could and it should ensure EU money are spent on renewable energy and sustainable solutions instead of fossil fuels.

The EU budget– or Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) – is still being negotiated and some key decisions that will affect how EU funds drive climate change mitigation are still open. As part of the project “An MFF for the Climate”, supported by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI), the EEB together with CAN Europe, Green Budget Germany and Clean Air Action Group (Hungary), has been following the negotiations with the aim of building a bridge between EU institutions, governments and civil society. Our aim is to ensure the next budget works for people and the environment. For this reason, we’re calling on EU institutions to allocate more money to climate action and to make all funds conditional on the level of ambition laid out by governments in their Partnership Agreements (PAs) – legally binding documents which are a precondition for receiving EU money.

On behalf of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, the EEB wrote a report summarising the current state of play and highlighting the need for a green budget as the main tool to implement the promises set out in Europe’s overarching strategy to decarbonise our economy, known as the European Green Deal.

The coalition carried out a survey across Europe, asking some of the most prominent national NGOs their views on EU spending and their expectations for the future. Some of these views were presented at a conference in Brussels, where members of civil society met representatives of EU institutions to discuss the next steps for the adoption of the 2021-2027 budget. Here you can find an extract from the survey by Clean Air Action Group.

 

Below are some additional documents that have been produced throughout the project.

Report – This working paper outlines lessons learnt, recommendations and opportunities for the next EU budget. It builds on the results from the interim report “Climate Change and the EU’s Budget 2021-2027” from November 2018 that was supported by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union, Brussels.

Supplement report – This document contains a 32-page assessment of 42 responses to the questionnaire developed by the project team.  In the responses, representatives of civil society expressed their opinion on the implementation of the current EU budget (2014-2020) and made proposals for the next one (2021-2027). The document’s Annex contains all the responses. In the responses, it has been generally acknowledged that in many concrete cases EU funding did contribute to improving the environment and protecting the climate. However, it is generally disputed that EU funding has overall achieved its objectives.”

Policy brief – This report, produced by Green Budget Germany, provides a summary of the work carried out by the consortium on the EU budget, and outlined in the report above.