During the past few
weeks, the President of the European Council Charles Michel has been meeting national
sherpas to sound out Member State positions regarding the Commission’s proposal
for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027. In
the next few weeks he will be meeting national leaders face-to-face.
He has called
a special European Council meeting which, ominously for national leaders
who value their beauty sleep, is scheduled to start on 20 February but which
notably has no termination date or time.
Mr Michel may plan to take a leaf out of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman’s playbook
who famously kept the rich elite of Saudi Arabia under lock and key in a luxury
hotel until they agreed to part with some of their money.… Read the rest
Climate mainstreaming of the EU budget was introduced in the
Commission’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) proposal for the period 2014-2020
which first put forward the idea that “the optimal achievement of objectives
in some policy areas – including climate action, environment, consumer policy,
health and fundamental rights – depends on the mainstreaming of priorities into
a range of instruments in other policy areas” (COM(2011)500).
The Commission advocated in particular that the EU budget could play an
important role in catalysing the specific investments needed to meet the EU’s
climate targets and to ensure climate resilience.
fiche on climate action in the Annex to the 2011 MFF proposal included the idea
that the proportion of EU budget spending contributing to the EU’s transition
to a low carbon and climate resilient society should be increased to at least
20%, subject to impact assessment evidence.… Read the rest
The Commission published its Communication
on the European Green Deal in mid-December 2019. Previously flagged in
Commission President von der Leyen’s Political
Guidelines for the new Commission, it defines the key political objectives
of the new Commission for the next five years.
The headline commitment is to make Europe the
first climate-neutral continent by 2050 (while conflating the EU with Europe
may seem like over-reach by the Commission, it should be remembered that other
European countries, most recently Switzerland,
either participate in or are linked to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the
UK government’s preference
is that it will remain associated after Brexit).… Read the rest