Advancing EU Fund Efficiency: Updates and Strategies from CEE Project Partners
At the last in-person meeting of "Towards a climate neutral EU: Efficient allocation of EU funds" consortium, partners explored opportunities for collaborative advocacy, including joint position papers to the European Commission (EC) on REPowerEU and sharing experiences on using EU and public funding for DNSH
Led by coordinating partner CEEweb for Biodiversity, the partners provided updates on their activities, including the EUKI Academy Webinar and EEB Climate and Energy & Biodiversity WG, and plans to improve communication and dissemination of the Best Practice Database (BPD), which aims to track how EU funds are used in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and identify issues such as corruption and abuse. The partners discussed ways to involve external stakeholders in contributing to the BPD and set objectives to include 270 practices by the end of the project, with an analysis by the European Environment Bureau (EEB) expected in September 2023.
Updates were also shared on the situation of EU funding at the national level, ongoing work on the REPowerEU plan, and recent activities. Green Liberty (Latvia) highlighted the lack of public discussion on the REPowerEU initiative and Latvia's position on EU funding but committed to monitoring developments and engaging with ministries. Other partners, such as Umanotera from Slovenia, Zdruenie Slatinka from Slovakia, Focus Eco Center from Romania, ISD from Poland, and CAAG from Hungary, provided updates on their respective activities related to REPowerEU, including selection criteria for Cohesion Funds, political circumstances, communication strategies, and engagement in planning.
The consortium partners explored opportunities for collaborative advocacy, including joint position papers to the European Commission (EC) on REPowerEU and sharing experiences on using EU and public funding for DNSH. They also highlighted the need to apply the Taxonomy immediately to certain types of projects based on data from Central and Eastern European countries. The EEB provided updates on various EU-level programs, such as the Renewable Energy Directive and the Gas Package, and other projects focused on the Net Zero Industry Act, nature-positive renewables, the planned social climate fund, and future steps of the EUKI.
Updates were also provided on the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) Strategic Plans (CSPs), with concerns raised about member states not taking advantage of higher environmental and climatic objectives, and continued concentration on regular farming in the CAP budget.
In conclusion, the consortium partners remain committed to working together towards a climate-neutral EU and efficient allocation of EU funds, despite challenges such as corruption and misuse. They aim to establish a more sustainable and equitable future for Central and Eastern Europe by exchanging best practices, advocating for common viewpoints, and involving external stakeholders in their efforts.
The meeting was held on March 23-24, 2023, in Bratislava, Slovakia, at the Open Society Foundation
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.