The challenges facing European regions undergoing structural transformations as they transition towards sustainable development pathways have attracted increasing interest in recent years. Straddling the border between Germany and Poland, Lusatia is experiencing considerable transformation pressure. Various domestic and European funding programmes, for example under the umbrella of the European Green Deal, are intended to cushion the impacts of the phase-out or reduction of coal-fired power generation. The recently adopted EU Just Transition Mechanism aims to support sustainable structural transformations and the broader goal of achieving climate neutrality by mitigating impacts on the workforce and contributing to the diversification of economies in the most affected areas. Funds made available through this mechanism should be deployed in consultation with regional stakeholders in Lusatia to complement national support measures. Further funding programmes are available targeting various policy areas and could be harnessed to strengthen integration throughout the region. Funding programmes that are centrally managed by the European Commission (i.e. not under shared management with national governments) are of particular interest in this context. Closer political and economic cooperation, coupled with a deeper exchange of experience, can accelerate regional integration and guide processes of structural transformation towards sustainable outcomes. However, there are some practical hurdles to overcome in border regions. The primary objectives in using available EU funding are to mitigate the social impacts of processes of structural transformation and to deliver a just transition at all levels. Measures funded through these programmes should be aligned with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and contribute to the goal of achieving climate neutrality.
- RIFS Policy Briefs
Gürtler, K., & Waliszewska, A. (2022). European Funding for Structural Transformations in the German-Polish Border Region. IASS Policy Brief, 2022(2).
- https://publications.rifs-potsdam.de/rest/items/item_6001514_8/component/file_6… https://doi.org/10.48481/iass.2021.035 https://doi.org/10.48481/iass.2022.007
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