Ecology, Energy, EU – Baltic States, Modern EU

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 25.05.2020, 18:23

Transition to a carbon-neutral economy: latest EU’s accounts

Eugene Eteris, European Studies Faculty, RSU, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 09.07.2019.Print version
The Commission has published in July the 2019 edition of a yearly Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE) review. In line with the global long-term trends, i.e. ageing, globalisation, technological transformation and climate change, the ESDE-2019 is dedicated to the theme of sustainability and circular economy.

The report acknowledged that tackling climate change and preserving growth could be successfully combined. Hence, the report sets out a number of policy options in the member states that are able to preserve the states’ competitiveness, sustain growth and spread its benefits to present and future generations, while pursuing an ambitious transition to a climate-neutral economy. The ESDE-2019 review finally confirmed the growing member states’ economic activity, with increased employment and improving cohesion.

European Commissioner for employment, social affairs, skills and labour mobility underlined that the annual review showed both growing trends in the EU’s economy and employment: with over 240 million Europeans at work - up by 13.4 mln jobs since 2015- the employment rate in the EU is the highest ever recorded. Besides, these trends pave the way to a fair transition to climate-neutral and sustainable economy patterns in order to make full use of the “green growth” opportunities.  

Transition’s impact

The transition to a carbon-neutral economy has both potentials to increase the number of available jobs and can have a positive impact on labour market structure, job distributions and needed skills. By 2030, the transition is expected to create additionally over one million jobs in the member states on top of the 12 million new jobs soon expected. The transition could mitigate the ongoing job polarisation resulting from automation and digitalisation by creating jobs also in the middle-income group, in skills distributions, e.g. in construction and manufacturing sectors.

However, the impacts of “green transition” vary across countries and sectors: hence, states must prepare for this transition to make sure that people in occupations, sectors and regions still linked to high-carbon models are not left behind.

For example, integrating social dimension with measures that provide income support during transition or combine higher energy taxation with redistribution could be of great importance. Social dialogue can also contribute to a just transition by ensuring the involvement of workers and employers.

Generally, the 2019 review shows that to continue economic growth, the member states have to invest in people's skills and innovation as the best performing companies would be those that invest most in workers' training and high-quality working conditions, in short –in skills, qualifications, adult training to support employability of workers, wage growth, and firms' competitiveness.

The ESDE-2019 review also finds that social investments, such as access to childcare and early childhood education, make people more productive and increase their well-being. Affordable and adequate housing enables Europeans to fulfill their potential on the labour market and participate more actively in socio-economic development.

ESDE-2019 for a new EU strategic growth

The 2019 annual Employment and Social Developments in Europe review (ESDE-2019) provides up-to-date economic analysis of employment and social trends in Europe and discusses related policy options. The European Council's New Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 calls for embracing the changes brought about by the green transition, technological evolution and globalisation while making sure no-one is left behind.

More in the chapter on “building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe” in the EU’s new strategic agenda:


This ESDE-2019 edition takes a look at employment and social developments in the light of one of the four main priorities of this new strategic agenda – “building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe”.

Findings provided by ESDE-2019 shall inspire policy-makers in the member states to deliver on such ambitious objectives by including into the national political economies the employment issues of the strategic long-term vision for a climate-neutral economy.

The European Commission has taken several steps in order to activate the member states’ policies: e.g. the Commission in May 2018 proposed for the Multiannual Financial Framework more funds for investments into people, including through the new European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and an improved European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).

On new suggestions in the EU budget in:;

The European Pillar of Social Rights and initiatives and tools such as the Skills Agenda for Europe, the Digital Europe Programme and the Youth Guarantee, the further strengthening of the Erasmus programme, and the European Solidarity Corps will all contribute to pursuing these goals.

On skills agenda in:

On youth guarantee in:

On Erasmus+ program in:



More information in the following links: 

-Factsheet: Employment and social developments 2019: Zooming in on the social impact of climate change; 

-2019 Employment and Social Developments Review

- A New Strategic Agenda 2019-2024

- Employment and Social Analysis section on the EMPL website.

General reference: Commission press release:


Search site