Programme

MONDAY 16 NOVEMBER

TUESDAY 17 NOVEMBER

WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER

THURSDAY 19 NOVEMBER

All timings are in Central European Time (CET)

For questions related to the programme of the event, please send an email to : events@coalregions.eu

Just Transition event sessions
Coal Regions virtual week session
10:00 – 11:30

Stakeholder involvement in the just transition

This opening session will be dedicated to highlight the importance of involving stakeholders at the different stages of the work on just transition and to ensure that just transition policies are inclusive and tailored to the specific needs of each region.

09:30 – 10:00 Connection time for participants

10:00 – 10:10 Welcome and Introduction

  • Myriam Bovéda, Team Leader, Unit Smart and Sustainable Growth, DG REGIO, European Commission

10:10 – 10:25 Opening statement on stakeholder involvement in the EU recovery and just transition

  • Marc Lemaitre, Director General DG REGIO, European Commission

10:25 – 10:40 Luc Triangle, General Secretary of IndustriALL

10:40 – 10:55 Vojko Obersnel, (HR, PES), Mayor of the City of Rijeka: Rapporteur on the Just Transition Fund (JTF) opinion, European Committee of the Regions

10:55 – 11:25 Discussion with participants

11:25 – 11:30 Concluding remarks

13:30- 17:30

Current outlook of the Coal Regions in Transition Initiative

Interpretation will be available in: EN – BG – PL – DE – EL - ES

This session will officially kick off the Coal Regions in Transition Virtual Week! As well as providing updates from the European Commission on ongoing EU policy developments, we will also welcome newcomers to the initiative, hearing from several regions that just joined the initiative – from Poland and Bulgaria! To round off the session, recent updates on national transition processes will be shared with participants, including cases from Spain, Germany and Greece.

13:15 – 13:30 Connection time for participants

13:30 – 14:15 Updates on the Initiative

  • Catharina Sikow-Magny, Deputy Director-General, DG ENER, European Commission
  • Asturias and its People Towards a Just Transition – video presentation, introduced by María Belarmina Díaz Aguado, Director-General of Energy, Mining and Reactivation, Regional Ministry of Industry, Employment and Economic Development, Government of Asturias
  • Nicola de Michelis, Director Smart and sustainable growth and programme implementation IV and Acting Director Policy Directorate, DG REGIO, European Commission
  • Andrea Gentili, Deputy-Head of Unit, Low Emission Future Industries, DG RTD, European Commission

14:15 – 14:45 Q&A

14:45 – 15:00 Break

15:00 – 16:00 Presentation of the newcomers in the Initiative:

  • Tomasz Urynowicz, Vice-Marshal of the Małopolskie Voivodeship, Poland
  • Ina Lazarova, Deputy CEO, Bulgarian Energy Holding and Momchil Vanov, CFO, Bulgarian Energy Holding

16:00 – 17:00 Presentation of national cases:

  • Antonios Kailis, Just Transition Development Plan, Greece
  • Laura Martín Murillo, Director, Just Transition Institute, Ministry for the Ecological Transition ant the Demographic Challenge, Spain
  • Raphael L’Hoest, Deputy Director General, Competition and Structural Policy, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany

17:00 – 17:30 Q&A

All timings are in Central European Time (CET)

Just Transition event sessions
Coal Regions virtual week session
10:30 - 12:30

Just transition in the Western Balkans and Ukraine – a new initiative for regions in the EU’s close neighbourhood

Interpretation will be available in: EN – UA

This session will be aimed at introducing the future initiative for coal regions in the Western Balkans and Ukraine to stakeholders of the EU initiative for coal regions. To do so, it will provide a snapshot on the coal transition process in the Ukraine, looking at progress since October 2019. The final roundtable will be used to have a dialogue on the cooperation between the EC and the different partners of the future initiative, providing insights on the role of each and the type of activities that will be proposed – as well as inviting EU regions to take part in them.

Session moderated by Anna Sobczak, Policy Coordinator for coal regions in transition in the context of EU Green Deal, DG ENER, European Commission.

10:15 – 10:30 Connection time for participants

10:30 – 10:40 Introduction

  • Jasmina Trhulj, Head of Electricity Unit, Energy Community Secretariat

10:40 – 11:10 Snapshot on Ukraine

  • Valentyna Moskalenko, Regional Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister, Ukraine
  • Ivan Lukeria, Ministry for Communities and Territorial Development, Ukraine
  • Andrii Zalivskiy, Mayor of Chervonohrad, Ukraine
  • Andrii Silych, Mayor of Vuhledar, Ukraine and representative of the Donetsk Coal Town Platform in the Ukraine National Coordination Centre for the Transformation of Coal Regions

11:10 – 12:30 Roundtable discussion on the new initiative for coal regions in the Western Balkans and Ukraine

  • Anna Sobczak, Policy Coordinator for coal regions in transition in the context of EU Green Deal, DG ENER, European Commission
  • Andrea Liverani, Program Leader for Infrastructure and Social Development, World Bank
  • Sumeet Manchanda, Associate Director and Lead, EU & Bilateral Green Finance, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change, EBRD
  • Marek Tabor, Head of Office, College of Europe
  • Artur Lorkowski, Deputy President of the Management Board, National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, Poland

12:30 Concluding remarks

10:30 - 12:30

Discussing the future hydrogen economy: opportunities for Coal Regions in Transition

This session will introduce the challenges and opportunities for coal regions in transition provided by upcoming developments related to the hydrogen economy. The European Commission will introduce the EU hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe. Speakers from regions across Europe will take the stage to share their experience vis-à-vis novel hydrogen projects, including the Groningen hydrogen valley; a project representative in the framework of the Hydrogen 4 Climate Action program; and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSO-G), to highlight the integration of hydrogen with existing natural gas infrastructure. This session will be also the moment for the Secretariat to collect feedback on the issue of hydrogen specifically in coal regions, which will be included in a dedicated toolkit.

10:15 – 10:30 Connection time for participants

10:30 – 10:40 Welcome and Introduction

  • Carsten Rothballer and Timon Wehnert, Secretariat of the Initiative for Coal Regions in Transition

10:40 – 10:55 Presentation of the EU hydrogen strategy and implication for Coal regions

  • Ruud Kempener, Policy Officer, DG ENER, European Commission

10:55 – 11:10 Q&A

11:10 – 11:50 Value chain for hydrogen, infrastructure, clean hydrogen: the opportunities ahead

  • Ruud Kempener, Policy Officer, DG ENER, European Commission
  • Hans-Joachim Polk, Member of the Executive Board at VNG AG
  • Patrick Cnubben, New Energy Coalition (Groningen Hydrogen Valleys)
  • Marc Rechter, Co-Founder and CEO at Resilient Group (Green Flamingo)
  • Jakub Przyborowicz, ENTSO-G

11:50 – 12:25 Poll and interactive discussion

12:25 – 12:30 Concluding remarks

14:00 - 15:30

Overview of financial support for the Just Transition

During this session, the different streams of financial support available to just transition regions will be presented. Speakers from the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will highlight how they can assist regions to invest in the just transition.

13:30 – 14:00 Connection time for participants

14:00 – 14:10 Welcome and introduction

  • Jonathan Denness, Head of Unit Financial Instruments and relations with International Financial Institutions, DG REGIO, European Commission

14:10 – 14:25 Keynote speech by Pierre Heilbronn, Vice President Policy and Partnerships, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

14:25 – 14:40 Simon Barnes, Director Advisory Services, European Investment Bank

14:40 – 14:55 Roman Doubrava, Deputy Head of unit Land Use and Finance for Innovation, DG CLIMA, European Commission

14:55 – 15:25 Q&A session with participants

15:25 – 15:30 Concluding remarks

16:00 - 17:30

Delivering financial support on the ground: the role of National Promotional Banks

Also focusing on the financial support to the just transition, this session takes a hands-on approach to financial assistance and will discuss how it can be delivered on the ground, with a specific focus on the role of National Promotional Banks.

15:30 – 16:00 Connection time for participants

16:00 – 16:10 Welcome and introduction

  • Oana Dordain, Deputy Head of Unit Financial Instruments and relations with International Financial Institutions, DG REGIO, European Commission

16:10 – 16:40 Presentations by National Promotional Banks:

  • Karol Tofil, representative of the Polish Development Bank (BGK) in Brussels
  • Vladimir Danailov, Executive Director, Member of the Management Board (FMFIB)

16:40 – 16:55 Input from the private sector: how can National Promotional Banks support just transition projects?

  • Presentation by George Alexopoulos, CEO of ELPE Renewables

16:55 – 17:25 Q&A session with participants

17:25 – 17:30 Concluding remarks

All timings are in Central European Time (CET)

Just Transition event sessions
Coal Regions virtual week session
10:30 - 12:00

Updates from the Secretariat and voices from the regions

In this session, the Secretariat for the Initiative for Coal Regions in Transition will give an update on its technical assistance programme (START). This will be followed by presentations on the trilateral cooperation between Czechia, Germany and Poland and a moderated discussion on transition success stories across Europe.

10:15 – 10:30 Connection time for participants

10:30 – 10:40 Welcome and Introduction

  • Robert Pollock, Secretariat of the Initiative for Coal Regions in Transition

10:40 – 10:55 Updates from START

  • Paul Baker, Secretariat of the Initiative for Coal Regions in Transition

10:55 – 11:10 Update from trilateral cooperation

  • Karel Tichý, Project Manager, Economic and Social Council of the Ústí Region, Czechia
  • Katja Müller, Head of Unit Economic Development, Europastadt GörlitzZgorzelec GmbH for Economic Development, Marketing and Tourism
  • Aleksandra Szwaja, Economy Department, Marshal's Office of Lower Silesia

11:10 – 12:00 Regional transition success stories and good practices: lessons learned

  • Professor Steve Fothergill, Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Ilka Cirkel, Dept of European and Regional Networks, Ruhr/NRW
  • Zdenek Karasek, Moravia-Silesia Deputy Governor for Coal Regions in Transition and the Just Transition Mechanism, Czech Republic
  • Dimitris Tsekeris, Energy Policy Officer, WWF Greece
14:00 – 15:30

Research projects on environmental issues related to mining and coal mine closure

This session is a follow-up to a series of presentations given in previous Working Group meetings on the topic of coal mine closure. This time, we will focus on the theme of environmental rehabilitation and circular economy, through the lens of several research projects. The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation will provide an overview of the upcoming budgeting period of LIFE and updates on the Research Fund for Coal and Steel. Three research projects will present their work and findings, providing insight on the research state of play linked to coal mine closure.

13:45 – 14:00 Connection time for participants

14:00 – 14:10 Welcome and Introduction

  • Zoe Rasbash, Secretariat of the Initiative for Coal Regions in Transition

14:10 – 14:20 Scene setting presentation on future of the RFCS programme

  • Andrea Gentili, Deputy-Head of Unit, Low Emission Future Industries, DG RTD, European Commission

14:20 – 15:15 Presentations:

  • Pedro Riesgo Fernandez, University of Oviedo on the MERIDA project
  • Alicja Krzemień, Central Mining Institute on the RECOVERY project
  • Dimitris Xevgenos, Innovation Manager, LIFE BRINE-MINING project

15:15 – 15:30 Polling session and discussion

13:30 – 15:00

Addressing the employment and skills needs for a just transition

This session will aim at proposing examples/initiatives on skills/jobs and discuss the needs for trainings/reskilling in the context of the just transition and the green recovery. The discussion will be fed by insights from the Commission, a cluster, trade union representatives and from key sectors that are particularly affected by the green transition.

13:00 – 13:30 Connection time for participants

13:30 – 13:40 Welcome and Introduction

  • Chiara Riondino, Head of Unit VET, Apprenticeships & adult learning, DG EMPL, European Commission

13:40 – 14:30

  • Anna Nikowska, Policy Officer, Unit VET, Apprenticeships & adult learning, DG EMPL, European Commission
  • Santiago Cuesta-Lopez, Director of the International Center for Advanced Materials and Raw Materials of Castilla y Leon, Spain
  • Ludovic Voet, Confederal Secretary at the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)

14:30 – 14:55 Interactive Q&A with participants

14:55 – 15:00 Concluding remarks

All timings are in Central European Time (CET)

Just Transition event sessions
Coal Regions virtual week session
10:30 - 12:00

Involving the youth in the just transition

This session will highlight the necessity to involve the youth in just transition policies. It will mention existing initiatives at the EU level for an active participation of young people in the efforts to mitigate climate change and will showcase some successful examples of youth engagement in various European countries and regions.

10:00 – 10:30 Connection time for participants

10:30 – 10:40 Welcome and Introduction

  • Jasna Maric Krajacic, Policy Officer unit Youth, Volunteer Solidarity and Traineeships Office, DG EAC, European Commission

10:40 – 10:55 Presentation of the Climate Pact

  • Elena Visnar Malinovska, Head of Unit Adaptation, DG CLIMA, European Commission

10:55 – 11:10 Presentation of the project ‘Youth for a Just Transition’

  • Patrick Lavelle, DG MARE, European Commission

11.10 – 11.30 Presentations of successful examples of youth involvement in the transition in Europe

  • Insights on youth involvement in the Netherlands - Fons Janssen, GreenDeal4Youth (GD4Y) and Floris van der Plas, Community organiser of Jong RES Groningen
  • Youth involvement in the transformation of Idrija, Slovenia - Matevž Straus, co-founder of ID20 Institute and Idrija 2020.

11:30 – 11:55 Interactive Q&A with participants

11:55 – 12:00 Concluding remarks

14:00 - 15:30

Aiming for long-term objectives with the help of cohesion policy

Achieving a just transition where no region is left behind is one of the cornerstones of the European Green Deal. While the JTF is a key instrument in the EU’s ambition to become the first climate-neutral continent in 2050, it is part of a broader set of EU policies to support regions. In this session we broaden the scope of the discussion and focus on how cohesion policy can help regions to achieve the long-term environmental and climate objectives of the European Green Deal. It will include the launch of a report by the OECD on the role of regions and cities in managing sustainability transitions.

13:30 – 14:00 Connection time for participants

14:00 – 14:15 Introduction: Cohesion policy and European Green Deal

  • Peter Berkowitz, Head of Unit Smart and Sustainable Growth, DG REGIO, European Commission

14:15 – 14:40 Presentation of the report ‘Managing Environmental and Energy Transitions for Regions and Cities’

  • Rudiger Ahrend, Head of Division Economic Analysis, Statistics and Multi-Level Governance, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD

14:40 – 15:20 Discussion with participants: how can cohesion policy help regions in the transition towards long-term environmental and climate goals?

15:20 – 15:30 Concluding remarks