How investments in the environment can benefit the Spanish economy
In 2010, Spain contributed a total of EUR 10 billion (including customs and farm trade duties collected on behalf of the EU of which 25% was retained by Spain) and received EUR 13.1 billion. While having been an EU member state for more than 20 years, Spain is the 3rd top recipient of EU funds (receiving in 2010 EUR 3.1 billion). However, Spain’s use of EU funds has had no long-term impact on its financial stability and its unemployment rate is at a high (20% in April 2010). In the next financial period (2014-20), Spain is likely to become a net payer.
Although Spain has missed almost 20 years of financial gain, it still has an opportunity to ensure its investments and those of the EU are beneficial for the local environment and thus local economies.
The potential of European funds to be utilised for nature, biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate action to increase local economies, to comply with the EU requirements and to avoid environmental degradation, will depend on the EU leadership. In prioritising on its local environment as a tool to benefit its local economies and leveraging on European money, Spain would be investing European tax payer’s money in public goods.