19:29 Gorj County, selected for participation in a program of the European Commission – Radio Infinit

19:29 Gorj County, selected for participation in a program of the European Commission – Radio Infinit
19:29 Gorj County, selected for participation in a program of the European Commission – Radio Infinit

The Gorj County Council applied, in February this year, in partnership with the Bankwatch Romania Association, to the call for the START technical assistance program, launched by the European Union Initiative for coal-bearing regions in transition. Gorjul is one of the 4 EU regions selected to benefit from technical support from the Secretariat of the Initiative in achieving a just transition, along with the regions of Asturias (Spain), Lower Silesia (Poland) and Zasavje (Slovenia), the institution reports on Wednesday .

The technical assistance process is developed based on the specific needs of each region, and in Gorj County, it will take place in the second part of 2024. In order to determine the implementation details, a delegation of the Secretariat of the Initiative for Coal Regions in transition will make a working visit to Gorj county.

Through this program, the Working Group for the coordination of the transition to climate neutrality, and the County Council, as coordinator, will benefit from technical support adapted to the realization of a portfolio of strategic projects and the encouragement of the development of the green economy in the county. Also, the technical assistance will support the strengthening of the capacity of the Working Group, to ensure a transparent, participatory and collaborative implementation process of the Just Transition Program 2021-2027.

Eliza Barnea, Just Transition Campaign coordinator, Bankwatch Romania: “The fact that Gorj county was selected as one of the 4 regions in the EU to benefit from the START program is yet another proof of the important potential that the county has in developing a low-carbon economy, for the benefit of all citizens . Gorju has all the resources to be an example in this process – the technical skills of the workers in the mining industry, the existence of the University, the biodiversity, the cultural heritage, the energy transport infrastructure, one of the largest potential for solar energy production in Central Europe and Of east. We are confident that this technical assistance process will bring to light the best ways to harness all these extraordinary resources, including by creating a framework for easy and transparent dissemination of information and encouraging the participation of all citizens in the transition process.”

Cosmin Mihai Popescu, president of the Gorj County Council: “The selection of Gorj County to participate in the START program, under the auspices of the EU Initiative for coal-bearing regions in transition, marks a defining moment in the commitment of the Gorj County Council team to achieving a sustainable economy and a fair society. This recognition not only underlines our region’s ability and determination to successfully address the complexities of the energy transition, but also provides a unique opportunity to shape the future of the Gorge on principles of sustainable development, innovation and social inclusion. Our joint effort to transform the challenges of the green transition into opportunities for economic growth, green re-industrialisation and social cohesion is now supported by European-level technical assistance and expertise, thus facilitating our path towards a regenerative economic model that makes the most efficient use of human resources and natural resources of the county”.

Gorj County benefits from an allocation of over 500 million euros from the Fund for a Just Transition, a European Union instrument designed to support mono-industrial regions in their transition to a more sustainable and fairer economic model. It supports the diversification of the local economy, with an emphasis on encouraging green economic activities, the retraining of the affected workforce, the greening of contaminated land, the adoption of renewable energy production technologies or green mobility.

The first call for projects through the Just Transition Program, for productive investments in SMEs, was opened in December 2023 (and will close on April 20, 2024). The participation in the START Program thus comes at the right time, to support the creation of a portfolio of strategic projects, as a solid basis for the development of the green economy in the region, as well as to increase the capacity of the Working Group to better understand the risks and opportunities of the green transition, to act integrated and to coordinate.

The County Group for coordinating the transition to climate neutrality, under the coordination of the County Council, is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the transition process to climate neutrality of the county, creating the framework for the involvement of all relevant socio-economic and academic actors from the territory, private and public, together with the authorities responsible for environmental protection, labor and social protection, education and public health.

The EU Coal Regions in Transition initiative was launched by the European Commission in 2017 as a support tool to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the green transition in coal regions. The initiative is an open forum that brings together all relevant parties, local, regional and national governments, businesses and trade unions, NGOs and academia to promote the exchange of knowledge and experience between EU coal regions. The initiative pursues a unique, bottom-up approach to a just transition, enabling regions to identify and respond to their unique contexts and opportunities.

The official announcement regarding the selection for participation in the START Technical Assistance Program of the European Commission can be consulted by accessing the following link: https://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/ener/items/824724/en

The article is in Romanian

Tags: Gorj County selected participation program European Commission Radio Infinit


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