Energy Policy and the labour market: consequences for employment in regions undergoing energy transitions

EESC opinion: Energy Policy and the labour market: consequences for employment in regions undergoing energy transitions

Key points


  • notes that the increasing damage caused by the climate emergency and the uncertainties and crises arising from the new geopolitical and energy market situations require the European Union to radically speed up the clean energy transition and increase Europe's energy independence from unreliable suppliers and volatile fossil fuels. It therefore welcomes the European Commission's plans to this end (for example REPowerEU and its additional funding through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF));
  • points out that environmental and energy risks affect economic activities and all related policy measures; they have a high impact on the most vulnerable regions, economic sectors, workers and population groups, in different ways. Therefore, it is necessary to focus with a specific attention on the Just Transition Regions where there is a more intensive link between the energy sector development and the labour market requirements and where specific policy actions will be needed;
  • proposes that Member States consider appropriate ways to have labour market policies better integrated into regulatory frameworks and environment and energy policies and into social welfare policies. This integration, as part of the national measures to implement the action plan for the European Pillar of Social Rights, should always be achieved through social dialogue and collective bargaining, subject to the autonomy and diversity of the different industrial relations systems of each state;
  • reiterates its firm belief that in order to effectively meet the objectives of climate policy and the energy transition, the Just Transition Mechanism needs to be used more effectively, taking into account a pace compatible with the situation of small and large enterprises;
  • calls on the Commission and the Parliament, the Member States and the regions of the EU to involve the social partners and other civil society organisations in a more innovative and effective way in designing and implementing energy transition policies with high added value in terms of employment and social protection, and in monitoring and assessing them;
  • believes that both large companies and SMEs have an important role to play in meeting the energy transition objective. However, in order to address the greatest difficulties faced by SMEs, the EESC calls for programmes giving SMEs access to finance to be improved, streamlined and simplified, with ongoing assistance and support services.