EU Fund for Just Change: Secret haggling over the EU billions

EU Fund for Just Change: Secret haggling over the EU billions

EU Fund for Just Change Secret haggling over the EU billions Exclusive The EU Commission plans to provide 7.5 billion euros to facilitate the transition to green society. But instead of allocating the funds according to clearly understandable criteria, the distribution in the back room is decided. By 2050 Europe is to become the first climate-neutral continent in the world according to the will of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. It has not yet committed all EU member states to this goal. Poland is stubborn. Money is apparently supposed to facilitate consensus. The EU Commission proposes caps for payments from the fund. No member state should get more than two billion euros, according to WirtschaftsWoche. This means that Poland can hope for two billion euros. There should also be a lower limit. Each country should receive at least six euros per inhabitant. The funds from the EU Fund for Just Change, called Just Transition Fund in the EU jargon, should not be allocated according to clearly understandable criteria, but should become part of the EU budget negotiations – the greatest possible political hype. “Obviously, Poland’s approval of climate neutrality has to be bought,” complains Green MEP Niklas Nienass. The European Commission will present its proposal for the fund in Strasbourg on Tuesday. Some details have already become known, such as the volume and the basic principle that coal regions in all countries can benefit from funds. What was missing so far was an attachment with precisely listed criteria according to which the money should be awarded. The document, which has become known, explains in detail which factors should play a role, such as the prosperity of a region. But now it looks as if the politicians will ultimately have the money quite hands-free. “The decision should become part of the negotiations on the medium-term financial framework,” explains MEP Nienass at WirtschaftsWoche. This year the EU member states have to agree on the distribution of funds in the financial period 2021 to 2027. The decision about the Fund for Just Change is thus moved to the political back room. “We will fight to change this,” announces Nienass. The climate protection program is intended to provide financial relief for areas affected by the coal phase-out. Up to 50 billion euros could be distributed across Europe. The money from Brussels is basically intended to help coal-dependent regions achieve the transition to a CO2-free economy. The EU Commission initially identified 42 affected regions, but is now speaking of 108 regions. An exact list is not yet available, but in Germany Lausitz and the coal areas on the Rhine can hope for payments. The funds are to flow, for example, into retraining, start-ups and digitization so that the regions can master the structural change. The money should flow to people as well as small and medium-sized companies. Critics complain that, under certain circumstances, large companies could also benefit from the funds.The EU Commission has so far ruled out in its proposal that the funds from the Fund for Just Change should go towards the promotion of fossil fuels. EU Commission President von der Leyen enforced this against the protest of individual commissioners. The Greens in the European Parliament fear that the member states, especially Poland and Germany, could soften again. The EU Commission is proposing that all regions submit a plan to phase out coal mining. So far, however, there is no provision for the regions to provide a mandatory date by which they want to become climate neutral. “We will ask for this in the legislative process,” announced green MEP Nienass. The EU Commission’s proposal can only be implemented if the European Parliament and the member states agree. Now on wiwo.de Do you want to know what drives the economy? Click here for the latest articles from WirtschaftsWoche. © Handelsblatt GmbH – All rights reserved. Acquire usage rights?
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