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EU Budget: Multiannual Financial Framework


Aligning EU finances with sustainable development

The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) – also sometimes referred to as the EU’s long-term budget- lays down the political priorities for Europe and the resources allocated to them over a period of 5-7 years. Climate and energy policy benefits from investments made under the EU budget through instruments such as the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for energy projects; Horizon 2020 for low-carbon innovation; and European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) for climate change adaptation and resilience.

Despite its limited size -it only accounts for 1% of the EU’s GNI-, the EU budget is therefore an important source of public investment to finance the transition towards a zero-carbon economy. It is estimated that every €1 spent with EU funds mobilises up to €15 from other sources of capital. Moreover, in some EU Member States the EU budget can account for as much as 60% of all public investment.

For these reasons, it is highly important to make sure that spending under the EU budget is in line with the EU’s climate and energy commitments. But how can we ensure that financial flows are shifted towards a zero-carbon economy? The materials below showcase the latest E3G work on how EU finances can play a greater role in Europe’s sustainable development.

This project has received funding from the European Commission through a LIFE grant. The content of this section reflects only the authors' views. The Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

Funding the just transition to a net zero economy in Europe: opportunities in the next EU budget

Europe’s transition to a net zero carbon society implies a wide range of changes throughout its economy. New industries develop, creating new jobs requiring new skills and whole new sectors of activities. While this shift is primarily an economic opportunity, such deep changes will also have social consequences...

Sectoral legislation in the post-2020 EU budget: ensuring effective climate spending

Following the release of the post-2020 Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) proposal in early May, the European Commission recently published a series of sectoral legislation detailing how EU money will be spent within each policy heading. These legislative proposals are key for defining how climate and low carbon transition objectives will...

An EU budget for climate action: accelerating the low-carbon transition in Central Eastern Europe

This paper aims to inform the negotiations between Member States, the European Parliament and the Commission on the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The specific focus of our analysis and recommendations is on how the MFF can foster climate action and accelerate the low-carbon transition in Central Eastern Europe (CEE). ...

Infrastructure for a changing energy system: the next generation of policies for the European Union

European energy markets, technologies, business models, geopolitics and political objectives are changing rapidly. The EU’s approach to energy network infrastructure needs to keep pace. This requires reform to current delivery instruments and processes, including: aligning infrastructure policies with climate targets, updating definitions of energy security, broadening understanding of...