Sustainability principles for the future EU budget

SDG Watch Europe is putting forward eight sustainability principles to ensure coherence in the future internal and external EU spending and to put sustainability at the heart of the European project. We call on the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council to integrate these principles from the very beginning of the financial policy planning, and thus prioritise the interest of the citizens and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. SDG Watch Europe will also propose sustainability proofing methods for the future EU budget to help make it happen.

Sustainability principles for the future EU budget to be applied as an inseparable set:

  1. The EU budget shall work for the people and with the people, with greater transparency, respectful of diversity and meaningful participation of the citizens

  2. The EU budget shall strengthen the common European values, in Europe and globally

  3. The EU budget shall increase wellbeing and contribute to decreasing inequality and social exclusion at all scales

  4. The EU budget shall take a holistic approach, support systems change and promote innovation, which is required for the transition to sustainability and building a circular economy.

  5. The EU budget shall serve a diversified and resilient economy and society, where the full potential of all communities, organisations and businesses of any size is fully achieved.

  6. The EU budget shall serve the public good.

  7. The EU budget shall contribute to decreasing the total environmental pressures (use of natural resources, use of land and emissions of waste, toxic substances, greenhouse gases and alien genotypes) to return to within planetary boundaries, and should not contribute to shifting of environmental pressures in time and space.

  8. The EU budget should contribute to improving the state of environment and maintaining and restoring ecosystem services, which is the very foundation of our society and economy.

Download the leaflet (pdf)

Klára Hajdu ( and Deirdre de Burca (,
Co-facilitators of the work initiative on the EU budget under SDG Watch Europe

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