February 21. 2024. 7:28

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Czech coal regions risk losing EU money

Czechia risks not being able to use about €1.7 billion from the EU’s Just Transition Fund to help its regions move away from coal and transition to a green economy on time, a recent analysis shows.

Karlovy Vary, Moravian-Silesian, and Ústí nad Labem regions may not receive EU help to phase out coal, restore the landscape after mining, green up the local economy and overcome structural problems associated with the coal industry’s tradition.

This is because Czechia is delaying the start of its coal programme even though it was the second of all national programmes to be approved by Brussels – an issue already highlighted in the Regional Development Ministry’s 2022 Programme Implementation Risks Report.

“Given the delayed start of the programme (…), there is a risk of not spending all the funds according to the timetable and possibly having to recover them,” the report says.

“There is no problem with the use of subsidies. First of all, it should be said that this information is based on data up to the end of 2022. The situation has changed rapidly since,” the Environment Ministry told EURACTIV.cz.

The ministry said the subsidy opportunities announced so far are sufficient, with more to follow shortly. However, for these to be successful, applicants will have to meet all the requirements, prepare for them in time, and obtain the funds.

(Kateřina Zichová | EURACTIV.cz)