Just Transition Fund and amendments to the Common Provisions Regulation

EESC opinion: Just Transition Fund and amendments to the Common Provisions Regulation

Key points:


  • is deeply convinced that the Just Transition Fund (JTF) represents the first tangible instrument to contribute to the very ambitious target of carbon neutrality by 2050, and is compatible with the European Green Deal;
  • is concerned that the investment envisaged for the just transition does not live up to the European Commission's ambitious Green Deal, and believes that additional resources should be found;
  • recommends more precisely specifying the JTF financial framework, as only EUR 30 billion is guaranteed, according to the proposal, and the rest is based on a voluntary decision made by the Member States;
  • is aware that the success of the JTF (and the whole Sustainable Europe Investment Plan) is dependent on a new partnership between the private and public sectors in terms of funding as well as shared responsibilities;
  • shares the holistic approach that takes into account the economic, social, industrial and technological dimension of the transformation process towards a neutral economy;
  • welcomes the fact that the territorial plans and any dedicated programmes are to be followed up by monitoring committees with the same rules as those set out in the Common Provisions Regulation and European Structural and Investment Funds;
  • recommends that the territorial plans and any dedicated JTF programmes see the full and real involvement of the social partners and NGOs; 
  • warmly welcomes the flexibility in the state aid rules and expected implied consequences, which should also reflect the importance of the Green Deal;
  • believes that public investment in environmental protection and climate change must be excluded from the constraints of the Stability Pact. It is now more important than ever in view of this unprecedented crisis. COVID-19 can have a major impact on EU citizens, their health and the economy. At the present time, the COVID-19 pandemic represents the first priority;
  • erodes our social and economic life, and influences also the current and future EU fiscal policy. In parallel, it creates an unprecedented uncertainty that could consequently lead to a robust change in the EU budget;
  • will respect any necessary reasonable change in the next MFF negotiations that could help to solve the fatal situation caused by the pandemic;
  • supports the EC proposal ''Next Generation EU'' to strengthen the transition mechanism in response to crisis and its new proposal for the next long-term EU budget;
  • welcomes the possibility for Member States to put in place a dedicated JTF programme. The EESC respects and supports the important role of the regions in the process of programming;
  • points to the need to ensure complementarity between the measures financed by the JTF and those co-financed by InvestEU under Pillar 2 and by the public sector loan facility under Pillar 3 of the Just Transition Mechanism;
  • warns that the right balance needs to be struck between economic restructuring measures and measures ensuring the protection and retraining of workers affected by the transition processes;
  • would like to see a substantial portion of the JTF resources devoted to generating the investments needed to support the workers' transition from one occupation to another.