New EU funds map adds to calls for sustainable EU budget
Bankwatch Mail | 13 March 2012
Now in its fourth edition, Bankwatch and Friends of the Earth Europe’s map of environmentally and socially harmful projects in central and eastern Europe being paid for by – or in line for – billions of euros of EU money has been launched at a crucial moment.
This article is from Issue 51 of our quarterly newsletter Bankwatch Mail
According to Markus Trilling, EU Funds coordinator for Bankwatch and Friends of the Earth Europe: “As we wait for the European Council and Parliament to have their say on the next European budget, this map shows that controversial projects are unfortunately not limited to a few isolated exceptions. EU money has the potential to bring lots of benefits to central and eastern European countries but if nothing changes it will bring substantial environmental and social harm throughout the region. These projects are mistakes Europe cannot afford to make. Future legislation must specifically prohibit the use of Cohesion Policy funds for detrimental projects.”
The research underpinning the map shows that almost EUR 6.5 billion has been spent on detrimental projects, include highways passing through protected nature sites, waste incinerators and airports. Almost EUR 5 billion is set to go the same route, and projects totalling another 5 billion are currently being considered for financing in the seven member states of central and eastern European.
“Money must no longer be squandered on such foolish investments,” adds Trilling. “It is vital that the next one trillion euro EU budget offers possibilities for overcoming the current recession and de-carbonising economies. Courageous action is needed to overturn the legacy of bad planning and realise the beneficial potential of EU funds.”
Find out more
The online version of the map ‘Roadmap to sustainability or dead-end investments’ is available at:
The new look map offers the possibility to view the data by country, type of project, or size of investment. Bankwatch and Friends of the Earth Europe have been monitoring EU Structural and Cohesions fund spending on the ground in central and eastern Europe since 1997.