Lost in transition? : social justice and the politics of the EU green transition
Transfer : European review of labour and research, 2023, OnlineFirst
CRESPY, Amandine, MUNTA, Mario, Lost in transition? : social justice and the politics of the EU green transition, Transfer : European review of labour and research, 2023, OnlineFirst - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75432
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
This contribution offers a reassessment of the social ambitions involved with the EU’s ‘just transition’ agenda two years after the enactment of the European Green Deal. Our focus lies on two key instruments: the Just Transition Fund (JTF) and the Social Climate Fund (SCF). We ask whether the EU social policy agenda has been ordered as a secondary objective and to what extent the EU’s pledge for a just transition has the potential to foster efforts towards more social justice. To assess the two instruments, we look at the asserted objectives, the underpinning policy tools, and the patterns of political conflict. We find that both the JTF and the SCF seem to have narrow objectives anchored in a reactive logic. There is a strong continuation of the social investment initiatives with a focus on reskilling the labour force affected by decarbonation. Both instruments promote a distinct model of transition relying primarily on a multi-level investment state aiming to generate green growth combined with targeted forms of compensation for the more vulnerable. This, we argue, neither amounts to an eco-social state nor to a just transition model addressing the intersection of environmental and social problems in a holistic way. Finally, various forms of political conflict (notably left vs. right and net contributors vs. recipients) create the danger that EU’s action will be insufficient to tackle the sheer scale of exacerbated inequalities in the future. We conclude with a number of actions that could alleviate those concerns.
Published online: 12 May 2023
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75432
Full-text via DOI: 10.1177/10242589231173072
ISSN: 1024-2589; 1996-7284
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Sponsorship and Funder information:
Mario Munta acknowledges financial support for this work from the European Social Fund (Research Project ‘SUSTINEO - Suradnjom, sudjelovanjem, istraživanjem i edukacijom za održivost’, Grant Agreement UP.04.2.1.06., Croatia).
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