Connecting Europe

The Multiannual Financial Framework and National Energy and Climate Plans - A co-creation agenda

The context

The current post-2020 budget negotiations are taking place against an international backdrop marked by the adoption of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 (in 2015) and the Paris Agreement (in 2016).

Simultaneously, the Energy Union will require that the member states of the European Union (EU) develop Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) in which they set out measures towards the fulfilment of their 2030 climate and energy targets. In parallel, member states must also develop long-term strategies (LTS) towards 2050, a blueprint for the decarbonisation of their economies in line with the Paris Agreement.

While the NECPs can act as an instrument to provide certainty for investors, the MFF could complement the plans by providing financial backing to ease investments in risky projects or regions and creating financial incentives to boost the compliance of member states with the NECP requirements.

Against this backdrop, the EU budget – predominantly investment-oriented – could become instrumental in supporting the EU’s climate and environment objectives. Meanwhile, to deliver on the EU decarbonisation objectives, the EU budget must be reformed and recalibrated.

The project

The project aims to propose concrete ways to link the MFF and the NECPs. The NECPs represent the best tool to measure climate compliance since they will include a monitoring and comparison of the performance of member states across the EU. The project will elaborate proposals on mechanisms to ensure that the MFF will reward and incentivise bolder and more effective policies towards climate mitigation and decarbonisation.

The NECPs could be linked to budget allocations, levels of spending. They could also identify pivotal projects or policies for which additional financing is required. Research and discussions will focus on the Cohesion Fund, without however neglecting other instruments, such as InvestEU and the Connecting Europe Facility.

The project will comprise a series of workshops focusing on pivotal issues to address; and a final event aimed at presenting the project result. To summarise the main findings and compile the recommendations for the way forward, the EPC will edit a series of analytical papers.

The Project is held under the auspices of the EPC’s Sustainable Prosperity for Europe Programme – Climate and Energy Platform, the European Climate Foundation and Ecologic within the framework of Connecting Europe, a joint initiative of EPC and Stiftung Mercator. It is kindly supported by the European Climate Foundation and Stiftung Mercator.


To participate in or support this initiative, please contact Marco Giuli.


Initial scoping paper: Bringing Paris into the future MFF: how to maximise the benefits of EU funding for the achievement of EU climate objectives, by Matthias Duwe


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