Ecological Fiscal Transfers in Europe – Evidence-Based Design Options for a Transnational Scheme

N. Droste, I. Ring, R. Santos, M. Kettunen

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Ecological Fiscal Transfers (EFT) have recently gained attention as a promising instrument addressing public authorities to provide incentives for nature conservation. In parallel, both the EU and various European countries are exploring new mechanisms to mobilise funding to support biodiversity conservation. We develop a proposal for an EFT design within the supranational context of the EU and assess its potential effects with evidence-based estimates. We i) provide both a theoretical underpinning and a synthesis of the current EFT schemes and EU Nature Directives, ii) propose a model for EFT implementation within the existing EU funding mechanisms based on quantitative and qualitative conservation indicators, iii) analyse how resulting payments would be (spatially) distributed among European regions, and iv) discuss the model outcomes in terms of ecological effectiveness, distributive effects and cost-effectiveness. We thereby contribute to the debate about how to better integrate ecological public functions within multi-level and supra-national governance structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-382
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Biodiversity conservation funding
  • Ecological Fiscal Transfers
  • European Union
  • Natura 2000 network
  • Policy advice
  • Spatial econometrics

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