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A meeting of the project partners took place on 16 March 2022 to summarize the thematic workshops. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held in virtual form using the ZOOM app.
After the introduction on the activities carried out so far, the moderator of the meeting, Katarzyna Pietrzak, presented information on the national reports prepared by the project partners.
The course of the workshops allows to distinguish several threads. Each of them needs to be taken into account when implementing the European Green Deal.
The first one is the risk of an increase in the cost of living resulting from the climate transformation, for example the increase in the prices of food, energy and services was indicated.
The second group is the risk of a negative impact of the transformation on the level of employment, employment conditions, economic and social condition of the regions most vulnerable to transformation, as well as entire countries, and competitiveness. The issue of energy security was also discussed in this thread.
The third group is the increase in uncertainty resulting from the commitment by governments to implement the European Deal.
The fourth group of threads concerns the shared experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has stalled dialogue on transformation and has deeply experienced society.
The fifth group concerned the quality of social dialogue and the level of employee participation in the field of climate transformation.
The number of problem areas discussed by participants in the workshops indicates that the practical implementation of green change, in particular the transition period, will be difficult. The central role of public policy, adequate means for a just transition and social dialogue in this process was highlighted.
In the discussion of the project partners, reference was also made to the armed attack by Russia on Ukraine. In addition to the tragedies of thousands of people, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine will have colossal social and economic consequences for the EU. It will also affect the energy policy of EU countries, including due to the need to change the supply chains of raw materials. The war will give an impulse to changes in energy policy, because, as it turned out, natural gas cannot be a transitional fuel in the period of energy transformation, certainly not the one coming from Russia. On the other hand, increased spending on defense and public services will affect the possibility of investing in the climate transformation.
During the discussion, postulates were also made to suspend the implementation of the European Green Deal (in particular, to postpone the implementation of the Fit for 55 package), or at least extend its implementation and reform the CO2 emission allowance trading system.
It was also emphasized that the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing and the consequences of its occurrence are visible, therefore they must be taken into account in the state’s policy.
There was also talk of a lack of unionization in many companies, which makes it difficult for employees to participate in dialogue on the climate transition.
The partners pointed out the need to strengthen in the final report the importance of social dialogue in the process of implementing the European Green Deal, among other things. Before the factories are closed, new workplaces and a protective system for employees must be prepared. The standard of living cannot deteriorate as a result of the climate change. EU societies, especially workers, must have access to reliable information on the climate transition process.