'Embed biodiversity in all elements of EU spending' - IEEP workshop
Biodiversity should be embedded in all Regulations of the EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework at the highest level if EU spending is to make a significant contribution to the EU Biodiversity Strategy goals. This was the principal conclusion of the participants present at a workshop organised by IEEP in Brussels on the 3rd July as part of an on-going study for the European Commission on biodiversity proofing the EU Budget. Biodiversity proofing the EU budget can be defined as the application of tools to minimise biodiversity-harmful spending and to act as a catalyst for biodiversity-friendly spending and should be carried out at all stages of the policy cycle in order to be effective.
Participants highlighted the need to include strong biodiversity protection objectives at the Strategic Planning stages of the policy framework, ie in the Regulations, without which it will be very difficult to guarantee biodiversity requirements at later stages of the policy cycle, such as during implementation. Other measures considered important were the improved incorporation of biodiversity into SEA/EIA assessments, guaranteeing capacity to ensure the monitoring and reporting of biodiversity outcomes, and the use of project selection criteria to prevent negative impacts of EU spending on biodiversity.
The workshop was designed to fine-tune the results of the study and to raise awareness of the issues amongst representatives of public authorities in charge of implementing the funds. The workshop was particularly well attended by officials from the Member States, as well as by representatives of the European Commission and NGOs.
Contact: A. J. McConville