In the project we strived to engage citizens, including young people, in the discussion on the use of EU funds, especially subsidies on investments related to climate change prevention. Our partner was a grassroot initiative, namely School Strike for Climate, with whom we worked together on analyses and recommendations in this field.
The European Union encourages its members to more boldly pursue climatic goals for 2030. But the Polish energy and climate policy is far less ambitious and is not very open to a discussion with young activists and organisations active in this field. We wanted to change it.
Within the project we run a nationwide webinar and workshops (both nationwide and provincial: in Śląsk, Dolny Śląsk and Wielkopolska) devoted to green transformation, EU funds and the functioning of Monitoring Committees. Together we formulated demands for Polish authorities and EU institutions on climate activities and on engaging citizens in the decision-making process. We also jointly analysed drafts of national and regional documents and worked on comments and recommendations. This is how we trained eighty-two activists and representatives of social organisations involved in climate issues. We presented the prepared comments and recommendations during debates between civic society representatives and institutions responsible for assigning EU funds. We managed to submit nearly 1500 comments on the 2021-2027 Partnership Agreement and structural fund programmes. These comments, as well as four debates, recommendations and opinions submitted to the Polish and EU administration, we introduced a qualitative change to the above documents. For instance, in the Programme of European Funds for Infrastructure, Climate, Environment the means on protection of biodiversity were doubled, while investments on roads and natural gas were cut. Furthermore, the Partnership Agreement and eight regional programmes included protection standards for trees and other form of greenery at each stage of the investment, and twelve out of sixteen regional programmes introduced support for energy communities. In line with our recommendations, the Just Transformation Fund will also be managed regionally (within regional programmes).