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Our objective and activities

Our ultimate objective is to make the next future budget “sustainability proof”, which can support the European transition to sustainability and contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on European level.

We believe that such a reformed EU budget:

  • Benefits the public and contributes to increased well-being of all Europeans in a sustainable way,
  • Responds the biggest challenges in Europe that require a common European answer,
  • Conserves the environmental precondition for any kind of development and human well-being, and thus reduces the total environmental pressure in absolute terms,
  • Prevents the problems instead of pure mitigation.

Together with its People’s Budget campaign partners within SDG Watch Europe, CEEweb works towards these objectives through developing expert opinions based on the principles of sustainability and advocating for suitable sustainability proofing tools during the policy cycle of the next MFF.


Stakeholder screening

Under SDG Watch Europe a wide range of stakeholders were consulted through an online questionnaire in January-March 2017. This stakeholder screening helped to draw lessons from the current MFF, map the expectations and gather recommendations for the next MFF and to start a dialogue in a wide circle with an open attitude. The results are also channeled into the work on developing sustainability proofing guidelines. Download the highlights of the survey results and the summary report.

Developing sustainability proofing tools

An MFF Advisory Group combining various expertise started to discuss sustainability proofing of the next MFF in 2016 December, with a view to identify proofing tools and principles that can make the next MFF deliver on the 2030 Agenda and shift to sustainability. The work also draws experiences from the similar work done for biodiversity proofing (guidance documents developed to the European Commission by IEEP and others, and the “Biodiversity proofing of EU Cohesion Policy funds with a view to sustainable development” developed by CEEweb  in 2014). The results of the stakeholder screening were also be channeled into the discussions.

Based on the work of the MFF Advisory Group co-facilitated by CEEweb and other partners, SDG Watch Europe adopted eight sustainability principles for the next MFF, which can set the basis for sustainability proofing the next MFF.

Advocacy work in partnerships with European stakeholders

We advocate, lobby, and raise awareness to the importance of the need for improved EU funding and fiscal policy to bring finances in line with environmental ambitions and the European Green Deal and equally in Members States’ programming. We focus our attention on both the EU level and the CEE countries to ensure that European public money truly serves the public good, bolsters biodiversity protection, climate-neutrality, and overall sustainability. We work closely with eight NGOs from the CEE region, as well as the European Environmental Bureau, to address sustainability challenges in our region where EU financial transfers have a significant impact (read more about our “Towards a climate-neutral EU” campaign).

Earlier, within the People’s Budget campaign advanced by SDG Watch Europe, CEEweb advocated for introducing sustainability proofing to the next MFF. With our partners, we addressed European and national decision-makers and provided NGO views into the related debate on the future of Europe. In the course of 2017, we addressed the European Commission, all EU finance and environmental ministers, as well as the European Parliament, with our key messages on sustainability principles and sustainability proofing tools. Our key recommendations were also taken up in the MFF position paper of the Multi-stakeholder Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals, an advisory body to the European Commission, in March 2018.  After the publication of the MFF proposals in May-July 2018, we more specifically targeted the European Parliament and the Council, as well as its preparatory bodies, both on a political level and on following up the specific dossiers.


Vote on 12 October on MEP Pascal Canfin’s opinion on Establishing a Recovery and Resilience Facility, October 2020 (letter)

EEB’s Proposed Ammendments to the EC Recovery Plan for Europe

Call for the nomination of European Commissioners who prioritise sustainability and can contribute to a people-centred EU budget (European NGOs, May 2019)

Open letter to European leaders to make sustainable development the EU’s top priority for 2019-2024 (European NGOs, June 2019)

SDG Watch Europe Open letter to European leaders on the need for the EU to fully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, December 2018 (pdf)

Letter to the General Affairs Council on better sustainability safeguards in the future EU budget, November 2018 (pdf)

Call from European decision makers and stakeholders to mainstream sustainability into the future EU budget, October 2018 (pdf)

Manifesto for a Sustainable Europe for its Citizens – THE NEED FOR ACTION by European NGOs, September 2018 (pdf)

Position paper about the next MFF by the high-level Multistakeholder Platform on SDGs, March 2018 (pdf)

Position on the EU LIFE Programme in the next Multi‐annual Financial Framework (MFF), December 2017 (pdf)

Position about the post 2020 MFF and Annex with a set of policy recommendations by the People’s Budget campaign, December 2017 (pdf)

Position for the Reflection paper of EU finances by SDG Watch Europe, CEEweb and CEE Bankwatch Network, June 2017 (pdf)

Sustainability principles for the next Multiannual Financial Framework, May 2017 (pdf)

6th scenario of European NGOs for the future of Europe, May 2017 (pdf)

SDG Watch Europe Recommendations for the Council Conclusions, April 2017 (pdf)

CEEweb position on making the next MFF sustainable, September 2016 (pdf)