Criteria for maximising the European added value of EU budget: the case of climate change

In times of continued economic and financial crises public money needs to be spent in a prudent manner. This is all the more important for EU spending, which should not duplicate or crowd out national spending. Maximising ‘European added value’ (EAV) should therefore be a key test for the programming of the 2014-2020 EU budget. European added value is, however, not easy to define as it entails a strong normative component. The question therefore is how to operationalise the concept of EAV in a way that is helpful for the identification of future spending priorities but avoids endless political discussions. Clear criteria are needed to moderate and to some extent rationalise the political debate.

This report revisits approaches to defining European added value as a key concept to help the identification of spending priorities under the 2014-2020 EU budget. It develops a set of criteria which can be used to guide the selection of priorities and implementation of EU spending in relation to the EU’s ambitions to tackle climate change under the regulatory frameworks of the 2014-2020 EU funding instruments, the design of expenditure programmes and project selection.

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