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Lost in transition? Social justice and the politics of the EU green transition

By Amandine Crespy with Mario Munda

Sage Journals
Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research


Focusing on two key instruments, the Just Transition Fund and the Social Climate Fund, this article assesses to what extent the EU’s pledge for a ‘just transition’ has the potential to foster greater social justice while implementing the European Green Deal. We analyse the related objectives, policy tools and patterns of political conflict and find that both Funds have narrow objectives anchored in a reactive logic complementing existing social investment initiatives with a focus on reskilling the workforce hit by decarbonisation. Both instruments rely on multi-level investment aiming to generate green growth, combined with targeted compensation for the more vulnerable. This, we argue, is not conducive to a just transition that addresses the intersection of environmental and social problems in a holistic way. Finally, various political fault lines pose the threat that EU action will be insufficient to tackle exacerbated inequalities in the future.

Mis à jour le 7 novembre 2023