Solutions to end harmful subsidies in EU Budget revealed in new report


Brussels – A new report launched today by seven green NGOs proposes concrete solutions to put an end to environmentally harmful subsidies within the EU Budget. In this time of austerity, European taxpayers' money is not delivering what it should, such as public goods and the well-being of Europe's citizens. Our key challenges in tackling climate change, biodiversity loss and resource inefficiency need to be prioritised ahead of funding for unnecessary infrastructure projects and the subsidising of intensive agriculture.

The report, called Changing Perspectives – How the EU Budget can Shape a Sustainable Future, presents a new proposal on how to reform the EU funds, analyses different EU policies and suggests concrete solutions that take into consideration the key environmental challenges facing the region. This is the first time that major NGOs with a presence across the EU have presented a joint proposal on how to allocate funds in the overall EU budget 2014-2020.

"The EU needs to ensure sufficient funding is available for its current environmental policies and that these commitments are seriously integrated in other sectoral policies," commented Ariel Brunner, Head of EU Policy at BirdLife Europe. "Each European consumes three times more resources than an Asian and four times more than an African. We need to face up to and tackle these disparities if we want to be credible on the international scene", concluded Mr Brunner.

According to the groups, the EU funds should emphasise and promote sustainability in sectors such as transport and housing, while targeting plans and projects that actively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy and resource overconsumption, and that maintain Europe's green infrastructure.

Antoine Kedzierski, Policy Officer at Transport & Environment, said: "EU transport spending should be less about joining up points on a map, and more about smarter ways of using existing infrastructure. There should be incentives to help member states implement congestion charging schemes or modernize existing rail infrastructure, for example. And aviation, which causes ten times higher emissions than other modes of transport, should no longer receive taxpayers' money from the EU".

Jean-Philippe Palasi, Director for EU Policy at Conservation International Europe, said: "The great challenge of the century is the switch to a green economy, and this cannot be achieved with a budget structure from the sixties. With the reform we are proposing, the EU budget will contribute to make Europe the world leader in creating green jobs, while addressing the most pressing ecological challenges of our time, like climate change and extinction of species".

The report also stressed the importance of increasing LIFE funds (the single EU instrument directly allocated to the environment) to 1 percent of the 2014-2020 budget and mainstreaming the EU's biodiversity and climate objectives within all policies and spending, including on the external dimension.

DOWNLOAD: Changing Perspectives - How the EU Budget Can Shape a Sustainable Future (PDF - 2.87 MB)

For more information, please contact:

Alessia Pautasso, Communication & Information Officer at BirdLife International -
+32 (0) 2 541 07 81
Mobile: +32 494 542844

Markus Trilling, EU Funds Coordinator at FoE Europe - CEE Bankwatch Network
+32 2 8931031

Jean-Philippe Palasi, Director for European Union Policy at Conservation International - Europe
+ 32 2 537 62 68
Mobile : + 32 4 74 41 81 36

Simon Nazer, Press Officer at EEB
+32 (0) 22891309
Mobile: +32 496438469

Sam Fleet, Communications Team at Friends of the Earth Europe
+32 2 893 1012
E-mail :  

Dudley Curtis, Communications Manager at Transport & Environment
+32 (0)2 893 0845
Mobile: +32 485 379945
E-mail :

Alexandra Bennett, Communication Director at WWF European Policy Office (EPO)
+32 2 740 0925
Mobile: +32 477 393 400

Notes for the editor:

The NGOs who commissioned the report are BirdLife International, CEE Bankwatch Network, Conservation International, EEB, Friends of the Earth Europe, Transport and Environment and WWF.

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