The CPMR has today published an analysis of the Just Transition Mechanism, with a particular focus on the Just Transition Fund and its implication for cohesion policy. The document spells out the initial reactions of the CPMR general secretariat on the package.

The analysis expresses a positive view of the marked territorial dimension of the Just Transition Mechanism and the embedding of the Just Transition Fund in the cohesion policy framework under the shared management mode.

It also points to a number of aspects that raise questions or deserve specific scrutiny. Firstly, the amount allocated to the Just Transition Fund is modest compared to the scale of the transition. Moreover, the majority of activities eligible under the new fund can be also supported through the ERDF or the ESF+, an overlap at odds with the emphasis on simplification and rationalisation in the MFF 2021-2027.

A matter of concern, the document points out, is the governance of the fund. The designation of eligible areas and extent of allocations among them is fully entrusted to national governments. Given the lack of regional earmarking, there is a risk that this could lead to imbalances in the distribution of funding at subnational level.

The analysis warns that the deployment of a new fund could also generate complexity in the ongoing negotiations of cohesion policy regulations and programmes causing delays in the deployment of the programming period 2021-2027.

Regarding the other two strands of the Just Transition Mechanism, the ambition to rely on InvestEU and European Investment Bank to mobilise respectively EUR 45 billion and EUR 25-30 billion to deliver on EU’s ambition to finance a just transition will need to be followed carefully.

As a matter of comparison, the analysis mentions a report of the Court of Auditors on EFSI, which found part of the finance to be not “additional” to what EIB and other EU finances already support and signalled an excessive concentration of the investments in a few large Member States.