The EU budget - known as the Multiannual Financial Framework - is the EU's decisive financial tool for implementing its policies within Europe and beyond. It has an especially big impact on agriculture, regional development, research and innovation, and nature protection.
For 2007-2013 the EU budget is 347 billion euros.
The EU budget should go towards tackling climate change, creating green jobs, and halting the decline of biodiversity and the depletion of our planet's resources. But, currently, the money is much too often spent on perverse subsidies that put further pressure on the environment and block Europe from moving to a sustainable development path.
Climate change and destruction of the environment are challenges that need a pan-European approach. Friends of the Earth Europe believes the EU budget needs to be reformed to make sure it is used to implement Europe's agreed priorities in these fields and to meet environmental targets.
We think the EU budget needs to prioritise three key environmental issues: climate change,biodiversity loss, and resources use.
The EU budget should be spent on ensuring Europe's transition to a sustainable decarbonised society. This can be achieved through energy savings, the decentralisation of energy supply, and increased renewable energy. The budget can also help ensure ecosystem resilience, which means ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change such as the restoration of flood plains to maintain the natural absorption capacity of free flowing rivers .
The budget should go towards saving energy and decreasing our dependency on non-renewable energies, creating long-term jobs, and helping to reduce inequalities in our society.
Given Europe's historical responsibility for causing climate change, the EU budget should also go towards fulfilling Europe's international obligation to support climate mitigation and adaptation outside its borders in developing countries. New and additional financial support should be provided to developing countries to tackle climate change and its consequences.
Preserving biodiversity is crucial if we are to ensure we continue to have clean water, fertile soil and fresh air. The EU's responsibility should be to maintain or enhance natural diversity for future generations.
In its commitments to stop biodiversity loss, the EU budget should provide the financial means to reach the agreed EU 2020 biodiversity headline target, to achieve effective implementation of relevant legislation (such as Natura 2000), and ensure the proper integration of biodiversity preservation in other sectors (such as agriculture and fisheries). It should also provide increased support to biodiversity protection at the international level.
To end Europe's overconsumption of the earth's scarce natural resources and so to enable us to live within the limits of the planet, the EU should use its limited budget to drive reductions in the use of resources and dependency on imports. At the same time money should go to increasing recycling and repairing damage in the fields of waste, water, materials and land.
We are campaigning for reform of the following EU budget lines: