The EU 2020 strategy, adopted in 2010, sets up binding targets for 20% emissions reduction and 20% renewable energy in the energy mix of the EU. The implementation of this legislation requires significant financial resources at regional and local levels.
EU funds can provide these resources already now, but member states need to:
- increase their allocations of EU funds for energy efficiency and renewables already within the current programming period;
- accelerate the absorption of EU Funds by removing barriers for the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects by providing more technical assistance and capacity building for managing authorities and project beneficiaries;
- avoid using EU funds for unsustainable and harmful projects – an unfortunately widespread shortcoming.
In 2011, discussions on the EU budget for the period 2014-2020 are reaching their final stage. The so-called “Multiannual Financial Framework” (MFF) (or “Financial Perspectives”), to be adopted by the end of 2012, sets the course for future EU funding priorities. Cohesion Policy and future spending decisions for EU funds will be particularly influenced by the MFF.
This is an exciting and crucial time. Both member states and the European Parliament have to start positioning themselves for the future Cohesion Policy.
Bankwatch and other international NGOs are working at national and European level to reform EU funding. Our aim is a Cohesion Policy that catalyses Europe’s transition to a resource efficient society based on renewable energy sources.
Read more details on our demands in the study Changing Perspectives – How the EU Budget can Shape a Sustainable Future (pdf).