European Commission Publishes Proposals for a New EU Budget
On 29 June, 2011, the European Commission presented its proposals for the next Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) covering the period 2014-2020. A Communication consisting of two parts setting out the main direction of the proposal was accompanied by legislative proposals including a Regulation adopting a new MFF, and inter-institutional agreement on budgetary matters and sound financial management, and a Decision on ‘own resources’. These proposals follow a review of the EU budget which has been widely debated since September 2007.
The Commission proposes to continue to deal with climate change and the environment as a cross-cutting issue. The Life+ green funding programme will remain in place but with a stronger focus on certain policy priorities such as climate and an elevated budget of €3.2bn (up from €2.1bn now). A dedicated climate fund was not included due to apparent concerns on an overlap with existing policies such as cohesion funds and the common agricultural policy. Although green spending will be integrated across the budget, the commission will screen all expenditure to find out how much is climate-related. It estimates this could amount to about 20% of the budget.