The EU Budget Review - a chance to turn commitments into action
On 9 April 2008 BirdLife International submitted its response to the ongoing European Commission’s consultation on the EU Budget Review (see the Commission’s website, including all submitted responses, at http://ec.europa.eu/budget/reform/index_en.htm).
Following a decision of Member State governments in 2005, the Commission has started a “roots and branches” review of the way the EU is generating its income, and the areas of spending. This exercise will result in a Review paper to be presented by the current Commission (expected in early 2009). This Review is intended to form the basis for the next financial framework (2014-2020) which will be developed by the following Commission and Parliament.
BirdLife International highly welcomes the repeated statements of Commission President Barroso and Budget Commissioner Grybauskaite that this review should be a “no taboo” debate, defining first the key objectives for EU policy to meet the challenges of the next decades, and then adjust the budget so these objectives can be met.
So far there is still a huge discrepancy between political commitments and EU spending. For example…
- EU leaders repeatedly committed to halt the decline of biodiversity by 2010, while at the same time governments and Commission are spending far too little money for the implementation of Natura 2000 – the backbone of nature conservation in Europe.
- The EU’s Sustainable Development Strategy talks of phasing out environmentally harmful subsidies – while at the same time the biggest budget lines of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are still contributing to the degradation of rural ecosystems – damaging not only biodiversity, but also our long-term potential for climate change adaptation and food production.
The main elements of BirdLife’s position on the EU Budget Review include a significant increase of dedicated EU spending for biodiversity and climate change, and a reform of the CAP into a sustainable land management and rural development policy.
BirdLife is also actively contributing to the work of the Green 10 on this issue. The Green 10 is a coalition of leading environmental NGOs active at EU level.
Please download here:
- BirdLife’s position on the EU Budget Review
- BirdLife’s response to the Commission Budget Review Consultation (submitted on 9 April 2008)
- BirdLife’s vision for the future of the CAP “New challenges, new CAP”
- BirdLife’s “Well-being through wildlife” (case-studies on socio-economic benefits of biodiversity)
- The Green 10’s “Ten Green Principles on the EU Budget Review”
- The Green 10’s “Sustainability Vision” for the EU Budget Review
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