When Financial Needs Meet Political Realities: Implications for Climate Change in the Post-2013 EU Budget

Over the last two years, there has been growing recognition that the EU budget after 2013 needs to engage more with those issues which are going to be critical for Europe in the coming decade. These include combating climate change and building a green economy. Following the publication for proposals for the next budgetary period, the Council and the European Parliament (EP) embark on what is likely to be a contentious and lengthy negotiation process. On the one hand, several Member States have adopted firm positions in favour of the status quo or a smaller budget. Historically this has created a number of impasse situations and an inherent aversion to reform in the system. On the other hand, the Lisbon Treaty has changed inter-institutional relations between the Council and the European Parliament (EP) with regard to the procedure on agreeing the budget, bringing uncertainty about the roles and competencies of the different EU actors in the process of finalising the Multi-annual Financial Framework.

This policy brief considers the scale and urgency of funding requirements for a low carbon transition and the readiness of the EP and national governments to address the issue at a time when other preoccupations are prominent on the political agenda.