Cooperative Transition of Polish and Bulgarian Coal Regions

Fostering the transition to climate neutrality in Polish and Bulgarian coal regions by developing region-specific job-creation strategies in cooperation with all local parties involved.

Coal Phase-out Energy Policy Just Transition

Artists Eyes auf Unsplash

Project info


Bulgaria, Poland

Project duration:

12/22 - 11/24

Target groups:

Local governments, Associations, Non-governmental organisations, General public


219,621.27 €

Contact info


Krassimira Dimitrova

  • Europe, a Patient Association


Coal mining regions are the laboratories of transition to climate neutrality. In Bulgaria and Poland, the path towards a net zero economy proceeds reluctantly as coal mining regions are traditionally anxious about facing a serious economic downturn as a result of phasing out coal. However, successfully creating new climate-friendly decent jobs in former coal regions serves as a strong argument for advocates of climate neutrality pushing their governments towards more ambitious climate goals. Hence, building a strong coalition around regional cooperative job-creating strategies involving trade unions, local governments, and climate movements in a participatory process of coming up with climate-friendly social innovations contributes significantly to winning support for the European Commission’s (EU) climate ambitions.

Marek Lussa, Mateusz Piotrowski, Carmen Struck, Krassimira Dimitrova, Photo: ©Dorota Bentke | Europe, a Patient Association


To overcome these obstacles, the project engages local governments, representatives of trade unions and climate organisations, and coal regions’ experts in crafting a concrete policy proposal addressing the threat of structural unemployment and the collapse of regional demand. To achieve this objective, the project supports these stakeholders in drafting cooperative job-creation strategies for developing strong coalitions. Additionally, it spreads these strategies among key target groups using media channels they trust to drive forward a cooperative transition. In the long-term, the Cooperative Transition project contributes to forming a multi-perspective, informed, and mobilised coalition that is supporting Just Transition in the process of creating job strategies for Bulgarian and Polish coal regions – hence also diminishing the threat of anti-climate policy and anti-EU radicalisation.

Last update: April 2024