By Klára Hajdu, CEEweb for Biodiversity
Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger has been touring the Member States in the last months to debate the future of the EU budget post 2020. He also says he has listened to the views of stakeholders during citizens’ dialogues. However, the debate has focussed on the new priorities from the very beginning, side-lining the equally crucial, though in some sense clearly more sensitive points about the quality of the spending. Since 2016, SDG Watch Europe within the People’s Budget campaign has been calling on the European Commission and the European Parliament for a sustainability reform of the EU budget – a reform that increases policy coherence, prevents wasteful spending and delivers tangible results in the wellbeing of the people and improves the quality of the environment.
On 20 March, the MFF subgroup of the Multi-stakeholder Platform, which aims to advise the Commission on the future EU budget with a view to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, handed over their recommendations to First Vice-President Timmermans. This short and ambitious report, which reflects the opinion of CSOs from various fields, trade unions, businesses, academic institutions and individual experts, provides innovative, but still efficient measures so that the future EU budget better delivers. We hope that the European Commission will eventually listen to our advice.