European Green Deal

14 september 2020

Image of engineer at solar panel plant - European Green Deal

The European Green Deal is the new European Sustainable Growth Strategy.Read more

The European Green Deal is the new European Sustainable Growth Strategy. It is a package of policy initiatives aimed at enabling European citizens and businesses to benefit from sustainable green transition, realising the goal of no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 in the EU and decoupling economic growth from resource use. It is about protecting fragile ecosystems, investing in research and innovation, and improving the well-being of people via a path that is just and socially fair, leaving no individual or region behind. 

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EU context

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The vital goal of European integration – improving living and working conditions and achieving upward convergence – has to be achieved in a new global setting, and in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic which is the most severe economic and social shock in living memory.Read more

The vital goal of European integration – improving living and working conditions and achieving upward convergence – has to be achieved in a new global setting, and in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic which is the most severe economic and social shock in living memory. The underlying long-term drivers of change remain the same, however: demography, technological development, globalisation and environmental challenges.

The Paris Climate Agreement was adopted in December 2015 by 195 countries within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It represents an international commitment to mitigate impacts of climate change worldwide.  

Under the new European Commission, which took office in December 2019, came the unveiling of the European Green Deal. It outlines three concrete actions aligned with the Paris objective of limiting global warming this century to 1.5 °C: 

  • striving to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050: zero net carbon emissions and cutting pollution, affordable and secure energy, smarter transport, and high-quality food
  • a Just Transition Fund for workers who might be impacted in the process, which will leverage public and private funds, including with the help of the European Investment Bank
  • a sustainable Europe investment plan, giving investors confidence to make long-term decisions on environmentally responsible projects, leading to new jobs, a cleaner environment and a better quality of life.

The Green Deal will encompass legislative changes in different sectors of the economy, including transport, energy, agriculture and construction, and industries such as steel, cement, information and communications technologies (ICT), textiles and chemicals. The first major step was the Commission’s adoption of the proposal for the first-ever European Climate Law in March 2020. 

On 28 April 2020, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen issued a statement on the role of the Green Deal in the economic recovery following COVID-19. Her message is clear: ‘The European Green Deal is an agenda for transforming our economy, to make it more competitive and improve our quality of life.’ Calling it the ‘motor for the recovery’, the Green Deal is an opportunity to rebuild European economies differently following this current crisis, making them more resilient and leaving a better place for our children.

 

Eurofound’s work in this area links in with the Commission’s 2019–2024 priority on a European Green Deal. 

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Research

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Eurofound’s remit is centred around research to improve living and working conditions in the EU, which is at the heart of the EU policy priorities.Read more

Eurofound’s remit is centred around research to improve living and working conditions in the EU, which is at the heart of the EU policy priorities. This work includes topics linked with the Green Deal, like innovation and job creation, restructuring, skills and training of workers, the digital age, work sustainability, quality of life and well-being, among others.

How Green Deal links in with Eurofound’s work

Research and innovation will be key in driving the change needed to achieve the goals set out in the Green Deal. This also means supporting people via a new Just Transition Mechanism. This will focus on the social and economic costs of the transition in the regions most affected. It will also facilitate new job opportunities, offer support to companies, as well as job search and re-skilling assistance for jobseekers likely to lose employment in the transition. Some of these topics are already covered in Eurofound research and findings could potentially feed into the work of the Just Transition Platform.

Restructuring at regional level

Eurofound’s European Jobs Monitor (EJM) monitors structural change in European labour markets, analysing where jobs are being lost and where they are being created. It analyses shifts in the employment structure in terms of occupation and sector, both at Member State and regional level. Recent analysis takes the region rather than the Member States as the main unit of analysis. It shows that a growth of within-country inequality often has a strong regional dimension and places a focus on regionally unbalanced growth.

Complementing this research, the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) has been monitoring the employment impact of large-scale restructuring events since 2002 in the EU. It also examines the impact on working conditions. 

Future of manufacturing

Proposed by the European Parliament and at the request of the Commission, Eurofound carried out a pilot project from 2015 to 2019 to explore the Future of Manufacturing in Europe, including employment implications looking at the number of jobs by sector, occupation, wage profile and task content. The future orientation also included quantitative estimates of the employment implications of the Paris Climate Agreement, large increases in global tariffs and radical automation.

Surveys informing the policy debate

Both Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) and European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) are carried out every four to five years across Europe and cover a wide range of topics that help to inform the policy process.

The EQLS examines both the objective circumstances of the lives of European citizens and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. The EQLS indicators include environmental and social aspects of progress. This work supports the policymaking process at EU level on many aspects associated with how people live and work, including what makes capital cities the best places to live, and exploring whether rural Europe is being left behind on financial security, connectedness and life satisfaction.

The EWCS aims to provide a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. The findings draw attention to the range and scope of actions that policy actors could develop to address the challenges facing Europe today – employment levels, prolonging working life and making work sustainable, increasing the participation of women, developing productivity and innovation, and adapting to the digital and environmental challenges.

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Key outputs over the years

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Publications & data

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The sections below provide access to a range of publications, data and ongoing work on this topic. 

  • Publications (12)
  • Data
  • Ongoing work (1)

Ongoing work