The ECR Group believes that the provisional agreement on the Just Transition Fund, adopted by the European Parliament today, is a starting point to create jobs and diversify economic activities across the EU.
However, ECR Co-Chairman and Shadow Rapporteur Raffaele Fitto notes that the different starting points of countries and regions have not sufficiently been taken into account. Instead, a generalised concept has been imposed, which has been often proven not to work. All eyes are on how the regions are dealt with now.
Speaking in the plenary debate, Fitto said:
“We hope that the plans presented in the upcoming months will pursue a just and equitable transition. Our economies need feasible choices that must not be dictated by pseudo-environmentalist fury carrying high costs and irreparable consequences. Promises that cannot be kept and overly-futuristic visions should be avoided. What we need are policies based on feasible technical-scientific and economic premises.
“Some of our initial worries remain. We find the timing and methods for the implementation over-ambitious and too optimistic. The different starting points of countries and European regions should have been taken into account even more. We would have opted for a more concrete and realistic rather than an ideological vision on certain technologies and resources. For example, we see natural gas as an important bridge fuel to achieve climate neutrality.
“I would like to remind everyone that the EU only adds 9 per cent to the global emissions, while the US and China add 15 and 30 per cent respectively. Let’s keep in mind that our regions and our businesses are already paying a very high price for the pandemic. Let’s avoid imposing overly stringent constraints and support an increase in their economic and productive capacity. Let’s protect our businesses in international markets and make sure that the challenge of ecological and environmental transition is a real opportunity for them. Let’s avoid adding another failure to those European policies that were created in the past with costs for citizens and businesses.”
The Just Transition Fund is a key element of the European Green Deal and the first pillar of the Just Transition Mechanism. It contains a wide range of measures directed at diversifying economic activity and helping people adapt to changing labour markets.