On 18 and 19 May 2021, Centre for Transport and Energy (CDE) and CAN Europe together organized an interactive online workshop Cultivating Just Transition in Central and Eastern Europe. The main ambition was to take a step back and reflect on the current status of just transition debates in different European regions, including in relation to the set up of relevant financial instruments, so as to help envisage constructive ways forward.
With some 50 participants including regional representatives and academics from 10 European countries, the diversity of perspectives and experience has been a great asset. The backbone of the workshop has been the sharing of different stories and narratives so as to go beyond the often dry policy-finance point of view, and to inspire the participants’ vision-making. The countries covered in this way included Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and North Macedonia. A special emphasis was put on effective participatory methods to be implemented both by the public administration, and by NGOs and local activists aiming for the engagement of local people in the just transition.
It is clear that a rapid coal phase out all across Europe is a necessity. All the more importantly, people from coal-mining and coal-burning regions need to see a positive perspective for their lives and the lives of their communities. To that end, the workshop strived to convey the message that just transition needs to be a truly inclusive process that puts people in its centre, tailored to the regional specifics