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 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.


Project team: 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.

Project information

Updated: March 2023

Countries: Bulgaria, Poland

Project duration: 12/22 - 11/24

Funding: 219,621 €

Target groups: Cities, towns and municipalities, Governments, Public sector

Implementing organisation:
German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK Bulgaria)

Project Partners:
Europe a Patient Association

Project Website:

Contact Person

Mrs Carmen Struck

Organisation: German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce


Dragan Tsankov Blvd. 36
1040 Sofia

Email: carmen.struckahk.bg


This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI call for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.


European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
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10785 Berlin – Germany

Tel.: +49 (0)30 338424 570