Support for airport infrastructure under the Just Transition Fund

Support for airport infrastructure under the Just Transition Fund

Points (c), (d), (e) and (g) of Article 4 of the Regulation establishing the Just Transition Fund (JTF) set out certain activities eligible for financing, namely investments in clean energy infrastructure, in greenhouse gas emission reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as investments in digitalisation and connectivity, and in the circular economy.

On 01 October 2020, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Francisco Guerreiro of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, filed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission.

The Portuguese MEP Guerreiro asked the Commission “can the Member States receive support from the JTF for projects to construct, expand or upgrade airport infrastructure, whether civilian or military?” and “would it be right to assume that all investments not covered by Article 5, ‘Exclusion from the scope of support’, yet which meet the remaining eligibility criteria can be included in the territorial just transition plans and are, therefore, eligible for the JTF?”

On 02 December, Commissioner Elisa Ferreira, responsible for Cohesion and Reforms, responded on behalf of the European Commission.

“The aim of the Just Transition Fund (JTF) is to mitigate the economic and social adverse effects of the climate transition by supporting the most affected territories” stated Commissioner Ferreira. She added that “the proposal for a regulation establishing the JTF identifies types of investments for which expenditure may be supported” and “all supported activities should be pursued in full respect of the climate and environmental priorities of the Union”.

Commissioner Ferreira also clarified that “these objectives are reflected in the limited scope of support of the JTF as defined in Article 4 of the proposed regulation, which sets out an exclusive list of activities that the Fund shall support” and “investment in airport infrastructure is not included in the scope of the JTF and shall therefore not receive support”. She further explained that “JTF support will be conditional on the effective development and implementation of a transition process in territories identified as particularly challenged by the transition. Member States must prepare territorial just transition plans, detailing the transition process”.

Finally, Commissioner Ferreira concluded that “these plans can only propose and finance operations that are in line with the regulation, taking into account the scope of support defined in Article 4 and exclusions as per Article 5” and “only investments in line with the regulation and coherent with the territorial just transition plans can receive financial support from the JTF”.


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