Just Transition must remain at the heart of European politics

Just Transition must remain at the heart of European politics after the European Elections, Ioanna Theodosiou, The Green Tank’s policy associate, underlines in an open-ed for newspaper “Epohi”.

Being one of the pillars of the European Green Deal and despite the pressures for a return to coal during the energy crisis, policies for Just Transition became a priority for the European Union and were promoted during the 2019-2024 period with the use of resources from the Just Transition Fund. At the same time, as the article argues, Just Transition policies helped in the consolidation a new treaty for the future of the green transition, where climate action coexists with social justice.

However, policies for the Just Transition do not appear to be – so far – a priority on the EU’s agenda for the 2024-2029 period.

Contrary to this trend, the article concludes with proposals in order to strengthen and consolidate Just Transition policy.

Specifically, their continuation is essential for EU environmental and climate policy as a whole. In the lignite regions, efforts should be continued, while the Just Transition Fund should be maintained in the new programming period (2028-2034) to ensure a sustainable transformation of local economies. The characteristics of the Fund, such as localism and its social dimension, should be incorporated into the new cohesion policy and financial instruments for the next period.

Finally, the policy of Just Transition can serve as a coherent framework for the European social and development policy in general, encouraging Member States to ensure a fair distribution of the benefits of the green transition and strengthening social dialogue & the involvement of local communities.

Just Transition can contribute to Europe’s prosperity and resilience. Challenges need to be addressed in a socially just and science-based way, with the ultimate goal of achieving climate objectives.

The op-ed by Ioanna Theodosiou was published on Saturday 8th June (before the European Elections) and is available in Greek here.