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Funding our Future: A proposal to overhaul the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework

BirdLife calls for a fundamental reform of the European Union’s long-term budget and for a spending policy that benefits both people and nature

The ongoing debate on the EU budget, as it stands, is off the track. In light of the increasingly palpable consequences of climate change and the biodiversity crises, the inadequacy in addressing biodiversity loss within the EU’s long-term budget, particularly in the current mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), is a cause for concern. BirdLife calls for a profound revision of the MFF, aligned effectively with the EU’s Green Deal objectives. It is imperative that the budget not only enables – but propels – a substantive and equitable green transition that benefits both people and nature. 

Subsidies that are harmful to the environment must be phased out immediately and instead linked to the provision of ecosystem services. We need stronger environmental conditionality in all funds and effective enforcement of existing legislation. Non-compliance should entail budgetary repercussions.

Addressing the substantial funding gap for biodiversity, essential to achieving international UN and EU targets, necessitates the establishment of a ring-fenced fund specifically dedicated to nature restoration. Furthermore, a long-overdue restructuring of biodiversity-relevant funds is imperative. This includes amplifying LIFE funds, redirecting CAP funds towards a framework that incentivizes farmers for commendable land management, refocusing marine funds towards sustainability and restoration, and directing regional development and cohesion funds towards initiatives that advance the green transition and contribute to the well-being of the environment.

Read more in our new position paper.

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Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.