The EU budget is negotiated between the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission for a period of seven years and is referred to as ‘multi-annual financial framework’.

The current multi-annual financial framework runs between 2007 and 2013 and sets out three priorities – fostering sustainable growth, enhancing European citizenship and establishing EU as a global player. In September 2007, the EU launched a major strategic review of the EU budget for the post-2013 period. A public consultation held in 2007-08 highlighted climate change and energy security among the top future challenges facing the EU.

At present, the new overarching economic and social Strategy ‘Europe 2020’ sets out a priority for green growth and a headline target for climate and energy. The priorities of the Europe 2020 Strategy are expected to be reflected in the Commission’s legislative proposal for the post-2013 multi-annual financial framework (due in July 2011).

Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are the two Community policies which take up approximately two thirds of the EU budget, therefore they both form central elements of the EU budget debate. The Cohesion Policy is also being reviewed and a Commission Communication on the future Cohesion Policy post-2013 is expected at the end of 2010.

Some of the key elements of the debate include concentrating on fewer priority areas, improving the performance of funds and mobilising region-specific assets to promote new development models that recognise the need to build links between the economy and the environment. The CAP is also going through its own ‘reflection’ process, which focuses on issues such as the reform of the content and structure of both Pillar One and Two, the concept of public goods provision and how to address new complex challenges such as climate change.

IEEP has been at the forefront of work in relation to greening the EU budget, and is currently engaged in the reflection process on the review of the EU budget and the future of EU Cohesion Policy and the CAP post 2013.

Key work in this area:

Contribution to an article on ‘Delivering EU Action on Climate Change’ to the publication Unlocking a Low-Carbon Europe: Perspectives on EU budget reform by Green Alliance

Towards the CAP Health Check and EU Budget Review
The CAP Health Check proposals and the EU Budget Review are the focus of this paper, written for the German Marshall Fund. This informed discussions at a 'CAP Retreat' held in Brussels with participants from the US and Europe, at which options for future CAP reform were explored.

Understanding and Influencing the EU Budget Review
This report sets out the budget review debate so far, as well as the key issues of reference to the environment which are likely to be on the agenda during future stages of debate and subsequent budget negotiations. The report focuses on EU spending which has implications for the Environment Agency. It concentrates on spending on climate change (mainly within the Structural and Cohesion Funds but also through funding for Research and Development), ‘sustainable land use management’ (within the Common Agricultural Policy), and the implementation of EU environmental legislation in general (also mainly through the Structural and Cohesion Funds but also through LIFE+). The revenue side of the EU Budget, which is also part of the review agenda, is not considered here. The paper aims to assist the Environment Agency in developing a detailed understanding of the EU budget review process.

Regarding work in this area please contact:

Peter Hjerp
Keti Medarova-Bergstrom