A Green but Also Just Transition? Variations in Social and Industrial Policy Responses to Industrial Decarbonisation in EU Member States

Zhen Jie Im*, Caroline de la Porte, Elke Heins, Andrea Prontera, Dorota Szelewa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The EU aims for net carbon neutrality by 2050. Since industry contributes substantially to carbon emissions, reforms to decarbonise industry are necessary to achieve this goal. However, these reforms may entail labour market costs in the form of unemployment, which may necessitate social policies to mitigate them. Our article provides a novel contribution to the existing literature by developing a framework to classify how these policy responses may vary across EU Member States and it also suggests sources for these variations. We analyse the planned social policy responses of four countries – Denmark, Germany, Spain and Poland – by comparing the emphasis on social investment relative to compensation; the emphasis on social relative to industrial policy; and the extent to which social policy is targeted. Our findings suggest that Danish plans will rely primarily on social investment, whereas Poland will rely on compensation. In Germany, there is a greater emphasis on industrial policy, and Spain’s planned responses differ between policies targeted at coal miners and policies for other workers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Social Policy
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 27 April 2024.


  • Decarbonisation
  • Eco-social policies
  • EU
  • Green transition
  • Industrial policy
  • Industry
  • Just transition
  • Social policy

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