Planning behind closed doors

Member States are currently developing their plans on how to spend the EU’s long-term budget 2021-2027, together with its recovery instrument (Next Generation EU). CAN Europe members assessed 16 Member States’ draft spending plans to see whether they live up to the Green Deal promises and put over 50 “good, bad and ugly” measures included in those draft plans to a public vote. Europeans have voted for the top measures that should be replicated, the biggest missed opportunities to be urgently addressed and the ugliest projects that should be scrapped. 

CroatiaEstonia and Czechia made it on the podium for their lack of transparency and side-lining civil society from Recovery and Just Transition planning processes.

Public participation is a precondition to ensure that EU Recovery money supports economies and societies in building back better after the pandemic.

Unfortunately, the Croatian government does not seem to care about it. The allocation of the €6.3 billion in grants (and potentially up to €3.6 billion in loans) which is set to receive from the Recovery and Resilience Facility has been discussed only in the Prime Minister’s office. Rumors have it that ministries were consulted on the respective areas of interest, but there has been no consultation with relevant stakeholders or with the general public (nor it is planned in the near future).

Civil society organizations have been sidelined in decision-making. Their representatives at the “Council for the development of civil society” received no information about the government’s plans; and during the meeting with European Commission about the Recovery plan, they were told that the decision whether to include citizens in the planning process lays in the jurisdiction of each member state.

The Government only published a short summary of the draft Recovery Plan on April 1. Unfortunately, the summary that failed to include any information on the budget envisaged for specific measures, on timeframes and on implementing bodies was not a joke. It also did not clarify how and to what extent the measures envisaged will contribute to climate action.

On the basis of the little information available, however, the main concern is that a lot of Recovery money will be spent on projects which will not contribute to Croatian climate goals.

Source: CAN Europe