Just Transition Fund to deepen Belgian debate over regional disparities

(EurActiv, 6 Feb 2020) While 0.9% (€68 million) of the EU’s Just Transition Fund is designated for Belgium, European Commission criteria for the fund could turn into a “financial hangover” for Flanders, Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) has warned on Wednesday (5 January), in a claim that threatens to deepen the debate about regional disparities in Belgium.

As part of the Green Deal, the Just Transition Fund involves €7.5 billion for 2021-2027, intended for those member states and regions which have to make the greatest efforts to reduce their CO2 emissions to reach climate neutrality.

Referring to the first draft of the legislation, Demir said there is “little justice to the Just Transition Fund” as for Flanders it threatens to turn into a “financial hangover”.

“26% or €2 billion goes to Poland, only 0.9% or €68 million to Belgium, but according to their proposal, that amount must go to the province of Hainaut as a priority for the European Commission, so Flanders loses twice: once to Europe, just like the Walloon colleagues, and one extra time because Europe demands an extra transfer to Hainaut,” she said.

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EurActiv, 6 Feb 2020: Just Transition Fund to deepen Belgian debate over regional disparities