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START technical assistance


What is START?

START provides tailored, short-term support to assist efforts to decarbonise energy production and usage, diversify economic activities, and progress social development in regions and communities that are heavily affected by the transition away from fossil fuels.

START can be used to help overcome shortcomings in local knowledge and capacities in areas such as: strategy development, governance, stakeholder consultation and engagement, community cohesion and resilience, and project identification and assessment. It is intended to fill gaps and complement other technical assistance and capacity-building instruments.

What can START provide?

START provides targeted support to assist coal+ regions, sub-regions, and local communities in achieving a just transition away from fossil fuel-based activities. Support typically spans 50-100 “person days” delivered over 6-10 months.

Supported regions

Click through the fields below to access outputs and additional information about START support, which may help guide your own regions’ transition.

These 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). They are also at different stages of their transition processes. Such regional variety contributes to rich exchange of transition lessons.

To ensure coordinated and integrated support to the selected START regions, the Secretariat works 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.

Recipients of START technical assistance in 2023

Following an open call for coal, peat, lignite and oil shale regions (‘coal+ regions’), which closed in December 2022, seven regions have been selected to receive technical assistance from the Initiative for Coal Regions in Transition’s START programme.

The seven selected regions are:

  • Lower Silesia, Poland
  • Midlands, Ireland
  • Northern Hungary, Hungary
  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Silesia, Poland
  • Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
  • Wielkopolska, Poland

Applications are currently closed to receive START technical assistance

The second call for applications to receive technical assistance to support just transition-related activities in coal, peat, and oil shale regions closed in December 2022. It is anticipated that a third call for applications will be launched at the end of 2023.

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