Published Thursday, 21 April 2011

Climate and the Budget: EU Member States and stakeholders discuss IEEP study at workshop  

More than 70 participants from Member States, the European Commission and NGO and scientific communities gathered in Brussels on 28-29 March 2011 to discuss how the post-2013 EU budget should deal with investment needs in climate change and managing natural resources during a two-day workshop ‘Environment, climate change and the future EU Multi-annual Financial Framework’ co-organised by IEEP together with the Dutch and Belgian governments. Day One was dedicated to discussions about priorities and mechanisms for climate change spending while Day Two focused on the role of resource efficiency in the future EU budget deliberations. Some of the conclusions of the workshop include:

The future EU MFF needs to reflect all political priorities as enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, which goes beyond those priorities set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy. A clear and reliable policy framework should guide the future investment while strategic planning and coordination should be strengthened in order to identify potential synergies and deliver important co-benefits for the economic competitiveness, social development and environmental protection;

Future spending should prioritise measures that deliver EU value added in a cost-effective way for example energy efficiency, clean transport and energy systems, adaptation to climate change, eco-innovation, green infrastructure and the sustainable management of natural resources;

Climate change and resource efficiency spending should be considerably scaled up. This should be delivered through strengthening the mainstreaming of climate change/resource efficiency into already existing funds/programmes by setting out appropriate objectives, targets and indicators;

The horizontal integration of climate change/resource efficiency should also be enhanced by introducing thematic project selection criteria and conditionality, improving the effectiveness of procedural instruments such as the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessments, building national and regional administrative capacity and improving the knowledge and technical base for the next programming period; and

The potential leverage effects of the EU budget to attract additional financial resources remains critical in view of the scale of future investment needs and the political reality of austerity. However, the issue of innovative financial instruments remains rather new and therefore requires more clarity concerning concrete options and their implications from sustainability point of view.

For a full summary of the presentations, discussions and conclusions of the workshop see the attached document.