Session 1.4

Business as (un)usual? Financing nature with cohesion funds beyond 2020

In partnership with DG REGIO

The health of economies depends on the state of the natural environment. Protecting nature and conserving biodiversity provides a wide range of benefits, such as reducing urban heat island effects, providing water retention or recreation. Cohesion policy has recognized these benefits by investing billions of euros for conserving nature and biodiversity over the years. For the 2014-2020 period, it earmarked almost four billion euros for this purpose. The funding has helped prepare Natura 2000 management plans, restore green infrastructure, improve the status of freshwater and non-agricultural habitats and improve the overall quality of life of EU citizens.

To protect, conserve and enhance the EU's natural capital is also one of the objectives of the European Green Deal. All EU actions and policies will have to contribute to the Green Deal’s objectives. This workshop will debate how cohesion funds could play a part in this new framework. It will encourage participants to share their ideas and proposals for preparing the next funding period, asking for example, Are we getting our nature and biodiversity funding priorities right? and ‘What lessons can we draw from the experience?’


Joanna Drake, Deputy Director-General, Directorate General for Environment, European Commission

Sander Happaerts, Policy Analyst, Smart and Sustainable Growth, Directorate- General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission

Frank Stubbe, Head of Agri-Environment Schemes, West Region, Flemish Land Agency (VLM), Belgium

Antonia Leroy, Head of Ocean Policy, WWF

Gabriel Mezang-Nkodo, Cohesion Policy Officer, Funds Unit, Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy, Managing Authority, Slovenia


Karen Coleman, Planet Podium

Our principal priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our speakers, moderators, exhibitors and participants, and so we have been monitoring the situation concerning the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak constantly. Due to the current situation and restrictions, it has been decided that EU Green Week 2020 will be available exclusively online.

You will have the opportunity to join the EU Green Week in a new immersive virtual experience. Not only will you be able to watch all the sessions live and interact with the speakers, but you will also have the possibility to explore the exhibitions and network with the other attendants just as if you were there !
The virtual event platform will be soon open - all you have to do is to register and you will gain access to the event from your home or office.
If you are interested in attending the virtual event, you can leave your e-mail address here and we will contact you as soon as the registration platform is available.