Atanas Pekanov and Margit Schratzenstaller

Published On


Page Range

pp. 137–156


  • English

Print Length

20 pages

8. Making Green Public Investments a Reality in the EU Fiscal Framework and the EU Budget

  • Atanas Pekanov (author)
  • Margit Schratzenstaller-Altzinger (author)
Additional green public investment at the Member-State level will be needed to address the climate emergency as a central priority in the EU. This chapter discusses two paths to enable increased green public investments in the EU: through possible amendments to the current EU fiscal framework or through funding from the EU budget. The Commission’s proposal from November 2022 regarding orientations for a reform of the EU-governance framework widens the leeway for debt-financed public investment. However, existing green public investment needs are not considered sufficiently. Therefore, we discuss several options to enable the flexibility of national budgets to ensure a level of green public investment which―together with private resources―is sufficient to close the existing green investment gaps. In addition, the use of the lever the EU budget theoretically offers to contribute to green public investment in the EU needs to be intensified. At about 1% of EU GNI (1.7% of EU GNI including NGEU) the overall volume of the EU budget is limited. The more important are steps to strengthen spending in policies that create EU value added, inter alia green public investment.


Atanas Pekanov


Atanas Pekanov has been an economist at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) since 2017. He has also served as the Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds of the Republic of Bulgaria in a number of technic governments (May–December 2021; August 2022–May 2023) and was in charge of Cohesion Policy and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. His main research interests are monetary and fiscal policy, EMU architecture, and cohesion policy in the EU. He previously worked at the European Central Bank and was selected twice as a scholarship holder of the Bulgarian National Bank (2015, 2019). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and an M.Sc. in Economic Policy from the University College London. In 2019, Atanas won a Fulbright Scholarship and attended the Economics Department of Harvard University. He is currently also a lecturer and PhD candidate at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Margit Schratzenstaller-Altzinger


Margit Schratzenstaller-Altzinger has been Senior Economist at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) since 2003; she was Deputy Director of WIFO from 2006 to 2008 and 2015 to 2019. Schratzenstaller-Altzinger is a member of the Austrian Fiscal Council and the board of ÖGfE–the Austrian Society for European Politics. She is alsoa member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Vienna Climate Council and of the board of trustees of the European Forum Alpbach and the KDZ–Centre for Administrative Research. Her areas of expertise include (European) tax and budget policy, EU budget, green fiscal reform, family policy, and gender budgeting. She has prepared numerous studies for the European Parliament and the European Commission as well as national clients. After studying economics at the University of Gießen (Dipl.-Oec., PhD) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (MA (Econ)), she was a post-doc at the DFG-funded Research Training Group ‘Future of the European Social Model’ at the University of Göttingen.