Shadowy spending of pandemic funds could dash EU hopes for a green recovery
Member States in central and eastern Europe have provided next to no information about how they intend to spend from the 671 billion euros Recovery and Resilience Facility, a new fund aimed at helping build back better economies in support of the European Green Deal, finds a report from CEE Bankwatch Network.
A survey of eight countries – Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia  – shows that citizens and stakeholders have not been involved in the drafting of these spending plans, against the EU’s ‘partnership principle’ which obliges states to consult the public when formulating such strategies. With governments refusing to open these plans for consultation, most inputs reflect only those of a limited set of state actors.
The study also finds that nothing in the plans suggests the necessary ambition to reach the EU’s 2030 climate and energy targets, a key milestone that guides the European Green Deal. No explicit ban on funding for fossil fuels projects is in place, and the majority of plans do not set higher targets than are found in the countries’ national energy and climate plans, which the Commission already had said in October  will not be up to the task of delivering on the 2030 goals.
Raphael Hanoteaux, EU funds policy officer with CEE Bankwatch Network, said, “Governments must do everything to ensure citizen ownership and improve the ambition in this major stimulus package. But we see no guarantee that these plans will help seal the European Green Deal. There is still time to improve them so they answer the climate emergency and help build back better.”
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EU funds policy officer
 The summary assessment of the findings is in the table below:
 See https://bankwatch.org/press_release/eastern-europe-climate-plans-struggle-to-keep-pace-with-eus-greenambitions