The European Green Deal sets out Europe’s ambition to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Given the different starting points of various regions to face the coming changes, the Just Transition Fund was created with the aim of alleviating the socio-economic impacts of the transition to a climate-neutral economy, specifically in fossil-fuel dependent and carbon-intensive regions, so as to ensure that everyone in Europe benefits from the transition. In order for it to be successful, this transition has to be locally-owned and everyone must be involved. In particular, it is clear that young people have an important role to play. Their future will be directly affected by the upcoming transition, and their needs, opinions, fears and hopes are an important part of the dialogue.
In this context, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy published a ‘Toolkit for Youth Participation in the Just Transition Fund’. It aims to encourage more ambitious, meaningful and numerous participation opportunities for youth in the regions targeted by the Just Transition Fund, as well as to ensure that the effects of such processes will lead to better-quality strategies and interventions addressing the challenges of the transition.