The EU Budget – Making it Work for EU Citizens
The next seven-year European budget – 2014 to 2020 - provides a huge opportunity to put money where it is needed most: to serve European public interest and deeply transform Europe.
Getting the EU Budget right is essential to a successful European response to the economic crisis. Europe and European countries must not repeat the recent mistakes of bail out plans and recovery packages to save the banks and keep the ‘business as usual’ economy turning: many of these investments potentially risk exacerbating the ecological crisis.
With 976 billion € for the 2007-2013 period and an average of 270 € per citizen per year, the use of taxpayers’ money is not delivering what it could and should for the citizens of Europe: well-being, jobs and economic, financial and environmental security. EU citizens want their money spent on areas that will benefit them and create long-term stability and prosperity.
Current EU Budget Failures
Overall, it is hard to see, within the current EU Budget (2007 – 2013) the added value of EU expenditures in delivering European public benefits that citizens expect:
- The main target of the budget remains short term economic growth, without proper assessment of environmental and social impacts, especially in the mid-to-long term.
- Many subsidies are still environmentally harmful, notably in intensive agriculture and road transport.
- Financial support is marginal for biodiversity and low to fight climate change.
- Development aid does not focus on the poor and the environment.
The European Union has a huge potential to ‘do good’. It is acutely aware of the challenges and has progressive legislation in several environmental areas. EU citizens, business and industry are more environmentally aware than ever before and are taking action. It is now up to the European Institutions to follow suit and build a Europe for the future and a stronger resilient economy. The first step is moving towards a sustainable EU budget.
For more information about WWF’s Key Asks for the EU Budget reform, please download the brochure: Making the EU Budget Work for EU Citizens.