Published Monday, 18 February 2013

Biodiversity proofing of the EU budget 

The EU has committed itself to halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020. Efforts are therefore needed to ensure primarily, that spending under the EU budget has no negative impacts on biodiversity, and additionally, that spending under the EU budget is overall supportive to achieving the biodiversity targets.

As support for this, IEEP in collaboration with GHK and Transport for Environmental Policy Research, have recently completed for the European Commission this Background Study towards biodiversity proofing of the EU budget. The study examines the opportunities for “Biodiversity-proofing” the EU budget, which is defined in the report as a structured process of ensuring the effective application of tools to avoid or at least minimize harmful impacts of EU spending and to maximise the biodiversity benefits. It applies to all spending streams under the EU budget, across the whole budgetary cycle and at all levels of governance. The study gives recommendations on the first steps and on the entry points of “biodiversity proofing” the EU budget with a focus on the Common Agricultural Policy Pillar 1 and 2, European Regional Development Fund, Cohesion Fund, Connecting Europe Facility Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and Trans-European Energy Network (TEN-E), European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, Horizon 2020 and the LIFE Programme.