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Energy

Secretariat Technical Assistance to Regions in Transition (START)

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The Secretariat’s Technical Assistance to Regions in Transition (START) programme aims to deliver enhanced transition-related expertise, capabilities and capacities in the coal regions that receive its support. It applies a collaborative approach, engaging recipients as active participants that contribute with their own resources alongside those provided by the secretariat in order to jointly pursue supported activities.

START addresses gaps in existing technical assistance available to EU coal regions. It is designed to provide targeted, needs-oriented expertise and capacity building to help regions take practical steps forward in economic diversification and decarbonisation. It will notably focus on

  • developing transition strategies and governance arrangements
  • identifying relevant priority projects
  • designing and developing identified priority projects, including appropriate financing strategies

Assistance may focus on specific topics of particular relevance to the clean and fair energy transition, such as energy system transformation and alternative technologies, environmental rehabilitation, employment and labour force measures, social cohesion and welfare, heritage and culture or transport.

START recipients

Following a call for applications, 7 regions were selected to receive support through the START programme

  • Asturias, Spain
  • Jiu Valley, Romania
  • Karlovy Vary, Czechia
  • Małopolska, Poland
  • Megalopolis (Peloponnese), Greece
  • Midlands, Ireland
  • Silesia, Poland

These 7 recipients of START support represent a diverse cross-section of regions and communities. They differ across features including resource type (hard coal, lignite, peat), socio-economic structure, industrial characteristics (mono-industrial and diversified) and geographic attributes (rural, urban, endowment of natural resources and assets). These regions are also at different stages of their transition processes. Such regional variety will contribute to the exchange of lessons about the transition.

During the first half of 2020, the Secretariat undertook initial assessment work of the 7 recipients to further refine the scope and scale of START support, which was articulated in a specific work plan for each region. Technical assistance was delivered through to October 2021.

To ensure coordinated and integrated support to the selected START regions, the Secretariat worked closely with relevant European Commission partners, including the Directorates-General for Energy, Regional and Urban Policy and Structural Reform Support, as well as other providers of support, such as the World Bank.

Progress in the implementation of START and lessons learnt will be shared with stakeholders via initiative working group meetings, the annual political dialogue and the newsletter and webpages.

Resources from the START process

These include regional profiles, jointly developed with each START region, which outline the context of the local coal sector, as well as transition plans, challenges and opportunities. You can also find ad hoc documents developed by START, either as background information or as inputs to START-supported activities.