EU Commission urges Member States to act on post-crisis finances by shifting taxation to polluting sectors

EU Commission urges Member States to act on post-crisis finances by shifting taxation to polluting sectors

Last week, the European Commission published the Country Reports – a detailed Member State by Member State assessment in the context of the European Semester.  It concludes that EU countries should exploit the potential of Environmental Fiscal Reform (EFR). The bloc’s average of 6.3% of environmental tax take (in terms of total tax revenue) in 2014 was short of an indicative 10% goal set in 2011. GBE welcomes Brussels’ calls on Member States […]

Towards a Sustainability-Oriented Energy Union

Towards a Sustainability-Oriented Energy Union

Towards a sustainability-oriented Energy Union Green Budget Europe, CEE Bankwatch and EEB assessment of the Energy Union Country factsheets Since 2015 the European Commission has been working towards integrated continent-wide low-carbon policies and an energy system that aims to support a fundamental transformation of the EU energy system. The Energy Union Strategy as one of the 10 key priorities for the current European Commission aims to provide “secure, sustainable, competitive […]

63 policy makers, leading academics, businesses and civil society call for an innovative reform of the EU budget

63 policy makers, leading academics, businesses and civil society call for an innovative reform of the EU budget

The EU budget in its current form is not a driver of sustainable development – neither in terms of how revenues are raised, nor how they are spent. A reform of the budgetary system to address and overcome current complexities could green EU budgets and enhance the transparency and visibility of the EU. Ahead of the presentation of the final report of the High-Level Group on Own Resources chaired by […]

The effectiveness of the European Semester from a governance perspective

The effectiveness of the European Semester from a governance perspective

The aim of this paper is to explain the European Semester, to analyse its governance abilities and to develop and propose messages on how to advocate for the inclusion of low-carbon objectives related to climate and energy policy, as well as the enforcement of the Circular Economy Package. The Semester, theoretically, offers an opportunity for persistent and diligent monitoring to bring the EU on track towards the achievement of its […]

Greening budgets through EU Energy Union and the European Semester

Greening budgets through EU Energy Union and the European Semester

Since the launch of the European Commission’s proposed Energy Union in February 2015, energy policy has disappeared from the main governance tool to monitor the progress of the EU’s Economic and Monetary Union, known as the European Semester. While it may appear sensible on a superficial level to have a separate framework for energy policy, it has created two strategic challenges: Firstly, Energy Union’s target implementation will not be in […]

2016 Country-Specific Recommendations in support of the European Semester process

2016 Country-Specific Recommendations in support of the European Semester process

Green Budget Europe, in collaboration with CEE BankWatch, EEB and WWF, publishes a set of Country-Specific Recommendations to be implemented in the 2016 European Semester process. Taking stock of the first year of the “streamlined” EU Semester approach, we conclude that the European Semester should be further reformed to become an effective governance and enforcement mechanism that can ensure coherence between national fiscal policies and overarching sustainable development objectives. The sixth cycle of […]

Commission must tackle fossil fuel subsidies

Commission must tackle fossil fuel subsidies

Green Budget Europe Director James Nix writes in Euractiv: There is a growing global awareness of the real cost of fossil fuels. Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that global fossil fuels subsidies will reach $5.3 trillion in 2015 (6.5% of the global GDP). The IMF study shows coal and oil to be the most heavily subsidised energy sources. In addition to encouraging CO2 emissions, these subsidies raise air […]

Environmental Fiscal Reform within the European Semester: From Challenge to Opportunity

Environmental Fiscal Reform within the European Semester: From Challenge to Opportunity

Green Budget Europe’s board members and experts met in Brussels with representatives from the European Commission and civil society organisations to discuss the current state of Environmental Fiscal Reform within the European Semester. Below are some background information, along with the objectives of the meeting and target audience. Download the event’s agenda. The European Semester On 28 November 2014, the new European Commission kicked off the 5th round of the European Semester […]

2015 Country-Specific Recommendations in support of the European Semester process

2015 Country-Specific Recommendations in support of the European Semester process

Given the high potential benefits of Environmental Fiscal Reform and better EU spending by Member States to achieve the Europe 2020 Strategy targets and foster innovative low carbon investments for sustainable economies, we urge the Commission and the Member States to strongly embed in the European Semester process and reflect in Country-Specific Recommendations: To phase-out all market-distorting environmentally harmful subsidies as soon as possible and by 2020 at the latest; To […]

Never let a good crisis go to waste: Windows of opportunity for Environmental Fiscal Reform within the European Semester

Never let a good crisis go to waste: Windows of opportunity for Environmental Fiscal Reform within the European Semester

European Commission DG Environment, Brussels Organised by Green Budget Europe and hosted by the European Commission, this side-event to the Greening the European Semester expert group brought together 33 representatives of 11 EU-Member States, NGOs and the European Commission to exchange knowledge about the potential of environmental fiscal reform in very open, in-depth and fruitful discussions. The event started off with an introduction by Paul Ekins, director of the UCL Institute […]