Published Monday, 15 September 2014

Guidelines for biodiversity proofing the EU budget 

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

To support these efforts, IEEP, GHK – ICF International and Transport for Environmental Policy Research were commissioned by the European Commission’s DG Environment to produce a “Common Framework for Biodiversity proofing of the EU budget”. The report provides a practical Common Framework for Proofing the EU Budget including general and fund-specific guidelines to be used by national and regional authorities as well as by Commission services. The following guidance documents are available:

The common framework (general guidance) represents a standardised approach that can be applied to most EU funds by national and regional authorities in Member States. It does not apply to centralised and non-programmed funds (most notably Pillar 1 of the Common Agricultural Policy) since opportunities for proofing centrally managed non-programmed funds are very different to other funds. The general guidance document also includes a “Guidance on proofing the policy cycle” chapter, which targets the Commission services.

The fund-specific guidance documents mainly focus on biodiversity proofing the project cycle, i.e. calls for proposals, project development and selection, project execution and project monitoring and evaluation. The guidance documents target national and regional authorities in Member States.

The above guidance documents are a follow up to the “Background Study towards biodiversity proofing of the EU budget”, also by IEEP in collaboration with GHK and Transport for Environmental Policy Research. This initial study examines the opportunities for “Biodiversity-proofing” the EU budget, defined 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.