Mainstreaming the environment and climate change in the post-2013 EU budget

On 29 June 2011, the European Commission formally tabled its proposals for the 2014-2020 EU budget. ‘Mainstreaming’ is put forward as the principal mechanism for financing environmental priorities. This approach is welcome as it can realise important co-benefits for different policy areas. However, the success of a mainstreaming strategy depends on its operationalisation and the current approach needs further development.

This IEEP paper analyses the proposed mainstreaming of climate change, biodiversity and resource efficiency in the Commission’s proposals for the next EU budget. It underlines the positive elements which have been put forward but also raises a number of issues where the mainstreaming approach could falter and offers recommendations on how to ensure mainstreaming delivers in practice.