Joint letter to Ministers calling for an EU policy framework for a just transition

Following the European Conference for a Just Transition and ahead of the negotiations on the Environment Council Conclusions, SOLIDAR and 20 other members of the European Alliance for a Just Transition have sent a letter to Ministers calling for a holistic and coordinated EU policy framework for a just transition.

The European Conference for a Just Transition

The current Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU has made ‘just transition’ one of the three priorities of the Environment Council (ENV), which brings together ministers responsible for environmental issues. On 17 June 2024, the ENV will adopt Council Conclusions that will include a section on just transition, as well as sections on the circular economy, resilience and adaptation to climate change, and the 8th Environmental Action Programme. Stakeholders such as SOLIDAR had the opportunity to contribute to the content of the Council Conclusions at the European Conference for a Just Transition organised by the Federal Minister for Climate, Environment, Sustainable Development and the Green Deal, Zakia Khattabi, in Brussels on 4-5 March. 

The conference brought together over 300 stakeholders, including representatives of governments, civil society, trade unions and business. Representatives of the Spanish and Estonian governments expressed strong support for an EU policy framework for just transition, as outlined in the EESC Opinion “Advancing the EU’s just transition policy framework: what measures are necessary”, which was also welcomed by Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, although they all put more emphasis on the financing aspect. Some contributions highlighted specific measures, such as a European Directive for a Just Transition of the world of work and the establishment of an EU Just Transition Observatory. However, the speeches of some institutional actors and business representatives focused solely on competitiveness and included statements such as “the transition doesn’t have to be just, it just has to be green“, “we have to be careful not to create new administrative burdens and red tape” and “The European Green Deal is good enough as it is“. 

A call from civil society and workers’ representatives for an EU framework for a just transition policy

Following the European Conference for a Just Transition, on 11 March SOLIDAR and 20 other civil society organisations and workers’ representatives gathered in the European Alliance for a Just Transition, sent a letter to over 100 Ministers of Environment and Climate, Social Affairs, Economy and Finance, as well as to the Permanent Representatives of all Member States to the EU, calling on them to prioritise a fair and just transition and to put it at the heart of the next EU political agenda, including through the development and implementation of an EU policy framework for a just transition. 

An EU just transition policy framework can simultaneously achieve ambitious climate and environmental goals, promote equity and foster a well-being economy within planetary boundaries, and thus provide solutions to the overlapping geopolitical, social, economic and environmental challenges we face. The signatories to the letter urge decision-makers to consider the following key components and actions in the development and implementation of such a framework: 

  1. Adopt a holistic, cross-sectoral and coherent approach to policymaking for a just transition; 
  2. Transition from an economy dependent on finite material resources to one of sustainable prosperity;
  3. Strengthen the European social model to protect the rights and well-being of workers, people in vulnerable situations and marginalised communities and to support them in the process of economic transformation; 
  4. Mobilise adequate public and private investment for a just transition;
  5. Ensure social dialogue and collective bargaining, civil dialogue, public participation and the involvement of regional and local authorities in decision-making on just transition; 
  6. Provide public support for a considerable upscaling of social economy enterprises and organisations and community-led initiatives that intrinsically combine social and environmental objectives; 
  7. Consider the external impact of Europe’s green transition, as well as its historical responsibility, and support a global just transition

You can download the letter and see the list of signatories in the pdf below.

Related posts