Time to replace unanimity with QMV in EU environmental fiscal policy

Time to replace unanimity with QMV in EU environmental fiscal policy

On 15 January 2019, the European Commission published a Communication proposing a gradual shift from unanimity to qualified majority voting (QMV) in the field of taxation. So far, this initiative has been widely overlooked, despite its potential significant impacts on EU decision-making. As stated in the Communication, taxation is the last EU policy area where decision-making exclusively relies on unanimity. During the past 30 years, decision-making procedures in other areas […]

Report shows major benefits in the promotion of circular economy

Report shows major benefits in the promotion of circular economy

Green Budget Europe (GBE), the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), the Ex’Tax Project Foundation (Ex’Tax) and the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra) have published the final report of a one-year project, which looked at fiscal and other incentives to promote circular economy objectives in Finland. The following measures were included in the scenario, which was modelled by Cambridge Econometrics: Air pollution: A carbon floor price; Fossil fuels: Removal of the […]

Social equity needs to be integrated in all future fiscal policies

Social equity needs to be integrated in all future fiscal policies

The recent “yellow vest” movement in France has pointed out the need to look into social equity concerns when introducing new fiscal measures, which aim to promote sustainability and low-carbon alternatives in our economies. This aspect has been underestimated during the past years when policies on resource efficiency and circularity have been devised. We need to reconsider our approach to ensure that if and when proposals on market-based instruments and […]

Project confirms key role of fiscal incentives in achieving circular economy

Project confirms key role of fiscal incentives in achieving circular economy

Green Budget Europe (GBE), the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), the Ex’Tax Project Foundation (Ex’Tax) and the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra) organised on Tuesday 27 November a seminar at the European Parliament to present the results of a one-year project which looked at fiscal and other incentives to promote circular economy objectives in Finland. At the seminar, hosted by MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (former Finnish Minister of the Environment and […]

Environmental taxes: a key driver to tackle climate change

Environmental taxes: a key driver to tackle climate change

Green Budget Europe was well-represented at the Global Conference on Environmental Taxation (GCET) hosted by the Faculty of Law, CEU San Pablo University, Madrid, from 26-28 September. The topic of the event was Environmental Tax Challenges in the 21st Century: Urban Concentration and Increasing Transport. One of the most important outcomes of the conference was the new Spanish government’s clear expression of its ambition and political will to promote environmental […]

WCERE session urges new policy measures to promote circular economy

WCERE session urges new policy measures to promote circular economy

As part of the 6th World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists (WCERE) held in Gothenburg on 25-29 June, Green Budget Europe (GBE) and the Finnish Innovation Fund (Sitra) organised a policy session on Best practices and policy requirements to achieve circular economy objectives. The session, which was chaired by Janez Potocnik (Co-chair of UNEP International Resource Panel and former EU Commissioner for Environment), began with Aldo Ravazzi-Douvan (Chief Economist […]

Stakeholders call on Member States to integrate sustainability pledges into future EU policies and budget

Stakeholders call on Member States to integrate sustainability pledges into future EU policies and budget

Representatives of the civil society, the European Commission and the European Parliament discussed fundamental issues related to sustainable development at a conference organised by Green Budget Europe, the People’s Budget campaign, CEEweb for Biodiversity and the Green Cities network on Tuesday 15 May. Special emphasis was on sustainability mainstreaming of the future EU budget as also called for in an open letter signed by 44 European and national organisations and […]

MFF proposal lacks ambition and proper incentives

MFF proposal lacks ambition and proper incentives

The European Commission published today its Communication on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027). According to the proposal, the Commission aims to introduce the principle of climate mainstreaming across all EU programmes by raising the current share (20%) of climate related objectives to 25% of overall EU expenditure. Green Budget Europe (GBE) supports the additional focus on climate, sustainability and rule of law. However, the Commission’s proposal lacks the ambition […]

MFF: Shaping the future or stuck in the past?

MFF: Shaping the future or stuck in the past?

“Shaping Our Future: Designing the Next Multiannual Financial Framework” was the title of the two-day conference convened by the European Political Strategy Centre, the European Commission’s in‑house think tank. Two representatives of Green Budget Europe also attended the event, which had more than 1000 participants. In his opening address, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission expressed his opinion that first the EU’s objectives must be fixed, and only after […]

German inaction in phasing out fossil fuel subsidies causes consternation worldwide

German inaction in phasing out fossil fuel subsidies causes consternation worldwide

Environmental NGOs are getting furious and impatient with the clear lack of ambition that many countries have demonstrated in their current plans to phase out fossil fuels. Apart from the COP23 climate negotiations that ended amid a general sense of confusion on who should do what in the fight against global warming, there was deep consternation regarding Germany’s self-evaluation report on its fossil fuel subsidies published last week. Despite the […]