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Just transition WITH and FOR local economic actors

08 November 2023

2nd BOLSTER regional policy dialogue held on 27th October

The second regional policy dialogue of the BOLSTER (Bridging Organizations and marginalized communities for Local Sustainability Transitions in EuRope) project took place on 27th October.

The event is part of a series of 10 regional policy dialogues organised by ECAS in the framework of the project, aiming at stimulating cross-regional policy learning on just green transition processes.

Perspectives of regional policymakers, representatives of NGOs, trade unions, civil society, and academics from Silesia (Poland) as well as Romania and Estonia were presented during the dialogue. The speakers discussed the impact of the green transition on local economic actors, their role and their relationships in the Just Transition process at the regional and local levels.

After a short introduction to the BOLSTER project and some icebreaker questions, the first presentation was held by Professor Adam Drobniak, Dean of the Faculty of Spatial Management and Regional Transition at the University of Economics in Katowice and Member of the Council for the Just Transformation of the Silesian Voivodeship (Poland). Professor Drobniak provided an overview of the governance context of the Just Transition in Polish coal regions, as well as of the conflict between economic actors in the regional transition process.

This was followed by a presentation from Eliza Barnea, Just Transition Campaign Coordinator at the NGO Bankwatch Network Romania, focusing on the key role as well as on the challenges faced by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Romanian Just Transition process.

The presentations were followed by a panel discussion, in which the speakers were called to identify challenges faced by SMEs and workers in the green transition process, solutions and opportunities provided by the regional and local actors, and best practices of citizens’ and stakeholders’ engagement. Besides the previous presenters, the panel included: Anna Dudek, Head of the Regional Transformation Unit at the Marshal’s Office of the Silesian Voivodeship, Grzegorz Trefon, representing the Alliance of Trade Unions “KADRA”, Agata Otrębska, activist from the Silesian Climate Movement and Ivan Sergejev, Just Transition Process Coordinator for the Ida-Virumaa Region at the Estonian Ministry of Finance.

Other attendees contributed to the dialogue by responding to live polling questions (Slido). Their main recommendations reaffirmed the necessity of informing and raising awareness of citizens and local economic actors on initiatives and opportunities related to the green transition, enhancing the supporting infrastructures for SMEs and most affected workers, and engaging workers, civil society and SMEs in decision-making processes regarding the Just Transition.

The recording will be available soon!

Presentation slides are available here.