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Following the civil society workshop titled “Connecting the Spanish and Belgian EU Presidencies for a Just Green Transition,” held in Brussels on January 23rd, 2024, the comprehensive summary of the conference is now available for public access. This collaborative event brought together representatives from Spanish, Belgian, and European Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) actively engaged in the European climate and environmental agendas.

Key highlights:

1. Learning from the Spanish EU Presidency:

  • Public participation and stakeholder engagement: Early engagement with government officials is crucial for effective communication. Spanish CSOs emphasized the need for focused efforts on specific issues during the Spanish Presidency.
  • Assessment of the Spanish EU Presidency: Despite challenges, milestones such as the electricity market reform and the Nature Restoration Law were achieved. However, compromises led to diluted environmental ambition.
  • The just transition in Spain: Limited work was done during the Spanish EU Presidency, highlighting the need for improved coordination between presidencies on the Just Transition.

2. Launching the Belgian EU Presidency:

  • Memorandum to the Belgian presidency: The Belgian Presidency is crucial for advancing the European Green Deal (EGD). The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) published a memorandum with 10 Green Tests, urging Belgium to prioritize climate and environmental issues.
  • Political context and agenda: Operating amid federal, regional, and European elections, Belgium aims to drive the debate on Europe’s green future, ensure a just transition, and promote green ambitions globally.
  • Just transition in the context of European elections: The concept of a Just Transition is pivotal to guide the European Green Deal, addressing concerns and advocating for alternative economic models.
  • Reform of EU fiscal rules: Civil society advocates for Just Transition funding within the Stability and Growth Pact, proposing changes to ensure public spending aligns with environmental goals.

The detailed conference summary provides in-depth insights into the discussions, key takeaways, and future directions discussed during the workshop:

Read or download the full summary here

Looking ahead:
As the Belgian Presidency unfolds, civil society remains vigilant in advocating for ambitious climate policies, a just transition, and a green economic agenda. The conference summary serves as a valuable resource for stakeholders interested in understanding the dynamics and priorities discussed during this critical period.