EU budget: European Commission publishes its reflections on the Future of EU finances, featuring climate change and energy transition in all future scenarios

Financing the transition

The European Commission has published its ‘Reflection paper on the future of EU finances’ on 28 June, the last of five policy papers within the so called “White paper process on the future of Europe”. With this paper , the European Commission puts down its thinking on the EU budget priorities and structures according to the five different scenarios for the future of Europe, presented by the Juncker commission in March this year on the occasion of the Rome summit.

The paper anticipates that future EU financing will include new issues such as defence, fighting terrorism and increased border control. Every EU budget expenditure sets out to prove ‘EU-added value’ in line with common priorities. It should unlock synergies or economies of scale where possible while maintaining a certain flexibility to address unforeseen challenges.

It names ‘security, economic strength, sustainability, and solidarity’ as the guiding principles for EU finances after 2020. All 5 possible EU budget scenarios outlined in the paper call for a stronger or exclusive focus on ‘climate change, energy and environmental transition’.

By Markus Trilling