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Statement by Commissioner Ferreira at the press conference on the European Green Deal Investment Plan and Just Transition Mechanism

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op woensdag 15 januari 2020.

Thank you very much.

On the follow-up of what has already been presented by both Paolo and Johannes, my task is to concentrate now on the Just Transition Fund.

The Just Transition Fund is, as mentioned in particular by Johannes, an element that comes on top of the allocations for cohesion and for agriculture.

It will represent 7.5 billion and it is a specific instrument that puts Cohesion Policy in the sense of helping regions that depend too much, that depend mainly or almost mainly, on industries and activities that are carbon-related and that will be massively affected, in the right track, minimising the impact of this transition in their economy and in their social and job situation.

The Just Transition Fund is, as mentioned before, the triggering element on which you have the combination of the 2nd Pillar and of the 3rd Pillar. Johannes was already very clear on explaining the combination of the 3 Pillars. In fact, altogether, they will give a substance and they will deliver the plan that each Member State will have to make in relation to the regions selected as transition regions.

It was our decision, decision of the Commission, that the fund would be available, or will be available to all the different Member States, 27 Member States. The allocation key will reflect the intensity of the problems, of the regional problems inside each Member State. When we talk about this intensity of climate problems, we are talking about intensity of CO2 and other gases in comparison with the industrial basis of the region, but also of the social dimension of the transition and discover of course the mining activities and also the transitions in industries that depend a lot on carbon and on very energy intensive industries.

This selection will be done by each Member State, within this so to speak available envelope. It will be done in coordination with the Commission. The Commission will suggest and propose, in the process of the Semester, the climate transition agenda for each member State and it is up to the Member State to select the kind of regions that will be the object of these plans.

In terms of governance, each Member State will have to identify the territories, then to describe the transition process and to show its consistency with the national energy and climate plan. And, for each of the identified territories, the combination of instruments and funds that are supposed to deliver the strategy that has been agreed upon.

Very important also is the presence, or the availability, of technical assistance, because we want in practice to have a bottom up approach so that it is from the region that you develop the strategy, and not a top-down approach.

So it is a regional approach, the basis is regional development, and it is actually the most important contribution of Regional Policy to make a transition in a certain sector. Even if in the past we have had several cases of Regional Policy helping the transition of textile industries, or of steel industries or in ship building, it was never to this dimension and in such a close combination with a lot of other instruments, because we also bring in investment from the private sector and not only public investment.

In a nutshell, this is the kind of structure we are working with; it will be anchored in the Regional Policy and anchored in the regional envelopes of each Member State, although the trigger is the Just Transition Fund that will be, as said before, fresh money coming from the European budget.

Thank you very much and I am available for questions.

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