CESI statement on a Just Transition Fund for the European Green Deal

As part of its work programme for the year 2020, the European Commission is currently working to realise a European Just Transition Fund to mitigate adverse social and employment-related effects flowing from the planned European Green Deal. In a statement in the context of a public consultation on a draft EU regulation issued by the European Commission, CESI sketched its priorities for a Just Transition Fund that will really make a difference for workers and employees that are negatively affected by green and climate change policies.

The main considerations for a functioning Just Transition Fund raised by CESI in its contribution include the following key aspects:

• The budget to be allocated to this fund should be sufficient to effectively help mitigate both possible acute negative repercussions of climate change measures via social inclusion and social protection measures, as well as help actively manage functional labour transitions via up- and reskilling for workers and employees that are likely to be affected by climate change policy measures.

•  Clear and easy-to-understand communication of the nature, scope and functioning of the fund to all trade unions, further NGO and employer stakeholders as well as the broader public. is essential. Non-awareness of the fund or technical or know-how related barriers should not be a factor limiting its pick-up on the ground.

• Effective communication of the fund is also important for a better, well-deserved public appreciation of the EU. The public, as well as the affected workers and employees, need to be aware when they have benefited from an EU fund – Where the EU does good for the people, this should be known.

• Next to patching acute adverse social and employment-related symptoms of climate policies, CESI also stresses the need for the fund to also take a strategic and long term investment-related approach, in order to reach long-term goals of climate neutrality and sustainable employment at the same time. As such, the fund’s individual implementation programmes should be detached from and go beyond single terms of office of key regional or local politicians that are keen on winning the next elections.

• Beyond the fund itself, the EU and the Member States need to set up and maintain a regulatory framework which ensures decent work and adequate social protection in new jobs created in the area of climate change and which rules out abusive and precarious employment models. The transition to a green economy should be accompanied by fair and secure work

CESI’s full consultation contribution is available here.