The Renew Europe Group welcomes the agreement reached on 9 December between the European Parliament and the European Council on the Just Transition Fund (JTF), a key instrument to ensure a just transition towards climate neutrality for regions facing energy, economic and social challenges.
The creation of such a regional support mechanism for the European Green Deal has been one of Renew Europe’s political priorities since the beginning of the mandate. The budget of the JTF will amount to 17,5 billion euro.
Even if the Group regrets the Council did not accept the increase requested by the European Parliament, it preserved the integrity of other cohesion funds, in particular ERDF and ESF+ as EU Member States will not be obliged to transfer funding from their ERDF and ESF+ envelop to JTF. The JTF will support a wide range of activities which will allow the regions most affected by the transition to mitigate the energy, social and economic impact such as through investment in SMEs and microenterprise, smart and sustainable local mobility, district heating networks (only if they are supplied by renewable energy) and activities related to education and social inclusion.
Ondřej Knotek MEP (ANO, Czechia), Renew Europe shadow rapporteur for the JTF amid the parliamentary committee for regional policy (REGI), said: “With the agreement reached today on the Just Transition Fund, we send a positive signal to the regions the most affected by the transition; we will not leave them behind in this transition towards climate neutrality”.