The implementation of Just Transition Plans must be fast-tracked in all Member States
There is no way back for the European Union in the transition towards
climate neutrality by 2050. The energy crisis caused by the Russia's
invasion of Ukraine has made even more difficult and yet more urgent the
need to provide strong support to regions and cities that are more
dependent on coal - and energy-intensive industries, in order to fully
transform their economies.
The €19.2 billion
Just Transition Fund
(JTF) is part of a Just Transition Mechanism and Cohesion Policy Funds that
envisage mobilising dozens of billions of euros of public and private
investment focusing on those regions, industries and workers who will face
the greatest challenges addressing the transition towards a green economy.
The concept of Just Transition, its various aspects and the state of
implementation of the JTF as well as the way forward for coal- and
energy-intensive regions was debated during a
organised on 22 November by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR),
together with the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU and
Moravian-Silesian, Ústecký and Karlovarský regions.
The event followed a meeting of national ministers at the General Affairs
Council dedicated to Cohesion, which took place in the morning on the same
day. Ministers adopted the
Conclusions on Cohesion Policy and its future.
(RO/EPP), Chair of the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU
Budget of the European Committee of the Regions, said: "
We need a forward-looking grassroots discussion on our future political
and investment priorities with the participation of local and regional
entities. The European Union has to make the most out of the Just
Transition Fund, and the participation of cities and regions is of key
importance to its success."
Ivan Bartoš, Deputy Prime Minister for Digitisation and Minister for Regional
Development of Czech Republic, stated: "The topic of Just Transition is crucial in the light of the challenges
the European Union and the whole world face today. I assume that,
thanks to support from various sources, the process of transition of
these regions will be put in motion and continue; and at the end of the
year 2028, we would hopefully be able to say that these regions will be
ready to move away from coal and lignite mining.”
Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, said: “Cohesion Policy was founded in response to the need to minimise the
risks and accompany the more vulnerable countries and regions in the
industrial transformation and the energy crisis of the 1970s. It has
been supporting transitioning regions, and their economic
transformations, for over 50 years now.
Today, we are faced with another transition that we need to
accelerate due to the current energy situation
. The Just Transition Fund, which was conceived before the energy
crisis, draws on the long experience of successful transitions and aims
at ensuring those living in the regions most exposed to the impact of
climate change that they will not be left behind.”
, Chair of the Committee on Regional Development of the European
Parliament, said: “Europe, since its inception, has been about energy and energy crises.
The upheaval ahead of us is to move away from all the models built so
far, to overcome them and create new ones. The Covid crisis and the
energy crisis have reminded Europe of the need to lead an energy
revolution to build a sustainable and resilient economy
(FI/EPP), CoR rapporteur on “Just and Sustainable Transition in the context
of the coal- and energy-intensive regions”, said: “
he Just Transition Fund is and should remain an important part of
Cohesion Policy. It should be based on the principles of partnership
and multi-level governance and it should complement the support
provided by the EU funds for regional development (ERDF) and social
cohesion (ESF+). Let's leave no one behind
The Governors of the Moravian-Silesian Region – Ivo Vondrák – and
Karlovarský Region, Petr Kulhánek, and Iva Dvořáková, a member of the
Ústecký Regional Council, also attended the Conference, during which
several best practices of just transition for coal regions, in particular
from the Czech Republic, were also presented.
The recording of the conference can be watched
on “Just and Sustainable Transition in the context of the coal- and
energy-intensive regions”, by the rapporteur Sari Rautio,
in October at the Plenary of the CoR.