The governance of Just Transition in Greece and in Europe

The new report of the Green Tank presents a critical assessment and recommendations for the improvement of the governance mechanism of the Just Transition in Greece, drawing on best governance practices from other lignite regions in Europe.

To successfully address the great challenge of a Just Transition in coal and lignite mining regions, the governance mechanism (i.e., the ways in which various actors and stakeholders interact, cooperate and participate in decision-making for the design and implementation of the transition plan) plays a pivotal role.

The new report of the Green Tank “The governance of Just Transition in Greece and in Europe” presents an overview of the relevant legal framework on Just Transition governance, and analyzes good examples of governance from three European lignite regions in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.

Focusing on Greece, it documents the basic elements of the governance mechanism proposed by the government, as reflected in the relevant texts, and presents a critical assessment of it.

Based on the assessment of the proposed mechanism, the analysis of good governance examples from Europe and several good ideas that were presented in the corresponding digital workshop organized by the Green Tank, the report concludes with the following recommendations for the construction of a just and effective governance mechanism for Greece’s lignite regions:

Systematic briefing and easily accessible information on the progress of the transition, via the upgrade of the dedicated governmental website (SDAM) to an information platform for all developments, decisions and consultations.

Enhancing transparency, via complementing the good practice of making publicly available the minutes of the Steering Committee meetings, with timely posting the respective minutes of the rest of the governance structures.

Open and transparent consultation procedures promoting the ones in which all comments are accessible to all.

Clarification of the roles of the different governance structures, in order to ensure their complementarity and avoid overlapping of responsibilities.

Enlargement of the relevant Partnership, to include all stakeholders and especially representatives of the civil society in all subsequent stages of transition planning, its implementation and any revision. This enlargement also applies to all monitoring structures, including, but not limited to, the Monitoring Committee for the Just Transition Development Program 2021-2027 (PDAM).

Participation of representatives of the local government (municipality level) in the Steering Committee. Due to the strong presence and role of mayors in the local communities, in general; the key role they have played in the transition of the lignite regions since 2015, it is proposed that the Steering Committee be enlarged to include the mayors of the five energy municipalities and the Presidents of the Regional Associations of Municipalities of the five regions under transition.

Establishment of Regional Transition Committees, according to the standards of the Regional Permanent Conferences (RPCs) of the RESTART governance mechanism in the Czech Republic, presided by the governors of the regions in transition, as proposed by the World Bank for the governance of transition in Western Macedonia in particular.

Distinction of roles between the Special Coordination Service for Just Development Transition (EYSDAM) and the Technical Secretariat. In view of the proposed by the government merger of the Technical Secretariat with EYSDAM and due to the lack of representation of the regions in transition in either entity, it is proposed that the former maintains the overall coordination of Just Transition, while the latter coordinates the implementation of the plans embedded in the more narrow in scope Just Transition Development Program (PDAM) and only during the period 2021-2027.

Representation of the local government, environmental actors and civil society in the body implementing the transition. It is proposed that representatives of the local government, environmental bodies and the civil society participate in the main body implementing the transition, namely “Transition S.A.”.

You can read the full report:”The governance of Just Transition in Greece and in Europe“.