Greening EU funds
For a climate friendly European Union and the well-being of its people
For the European Union and its Member States to become more sustainable societies, the EU’s financial resources have to be spent towards consuming less energy and using resources more efficiently.
The EU 2020 strategy sets binding targets, yet EU funds are not currently doing enough to reduce greenhouse gases, ensure a more efficient use of energy and natural resources, or protect eco-systems and halt biodiversity loss.
Bankwatch works in three directions to make sure EU funds help achieve these goals:
The future EU budget
A greener EU Budget to exit the crisis
Read more in our briefing (pdf)
The next long-term budget for the European Union (2014-2020 multi-annual financial framework (MFF)) could help achieve economic and social prosperity in and outside of Europe by building de-carbonised, resource and energy-efficient and socially just economies.
However, the European Commission's budget proposal still allows for too many possibilities for harmful spending.
Bankwatch recommends to shift allocations and spending priorities to sectors of the green economy, in order to
- help create more jobs;
- future proof green markets;
- reach the EU’s 2020 climate and energy objectives;
- reach the EU’s 2020 biodiversity target.
Our positions and comments on the ongoing legislative process
Sustainable, effective and environmentally focused initiatives are out there. Our Well Spent campaign illustrates how the right spending can bring environmental and economic benefits at the same time
The future EU Cohesion Policy
The draft regulations: not ambitious enough
These regulations fail to earmark sufficient money for green spending which could not only help central and eastern Europe to move towards environmental sustainability but also to modernise their economies and provide a major jobs boost.
Cohesion Policy priorities don't aim at 'greening' Europe
A Cohesion Policy for Europe's people and environment
Download our study (pdf)
Improving EU regulations
The European Council and the European Parliament can improve the draft regulation, prohibit harmful subsidies and increase earmarking.
Our study Funding Europe’s Future provides practical suggestions for greening EU Cohesion policy by:
- mapping out areas in which central and eastern European countries need to make investments;
- details the types of spending which are available from the regional funds;
- outlines how such moneys need to be prioritised to achieve optimal results.
Programming done right
complete recommendations (pdf)
sector- and country-specific chapters
Priorities in Member States
Also at national level priorities for how to spend EU funds are being decided now.
Our recommendations for the national Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes, prepared in close cooperation with national NGO coalitions and the support from external experts, offer:
- concrete measures to be financed,
- targets to be set,
- performance indicators to be applied and
- investment needs to be met ...
... all with a focus on a policy that can foster sustainable development and catalyse the transformation to a low energy-consuming, renewable-based and resource efficient society.
EU funds implementation at national level - the need to end harmful spending
With the goal to reduce economic and social disparities between European regions, EU funds specifically flow to central and eastern European countries.
Examples of harmful EU funding
See our map of controversial projects.
In these countries, however, projects are frequently harmful for ecosystems and the climate and often do not increase the quality of people's lives, for instance through:
- road constructions that negatively affect NATURA 2000 sites;
- waste management that favours incineration over more efficient recycling solutions.
Therefore, EU funds spending at national level needs to better implement European environmental laws and regulations.