A sustainable economy that leaves no one behind

SW – 06/2022

The "Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs" Council adopted a recommendation to mitigate the social and employment challenges and consequences of the European Green Deal on 16 June. It must be ensured that the EU's transition to a carbon-neutral and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050 is fair and leaves no one behind. Member States are encouraged to take measures, in close cooperation with the social partners, to address the employment and social impacts of climate, energy and environmental policies. In addition, these are to be incorporated into relevant national strategies.

Packages of measures for a fair green transition

Among other things, the recommendation suggests measures to support those most affected by the green transition. Member States are encouraged to promote the creation of quality jobs. But the focus is also on the safe design of workplaces.

Member States are encouraged to analyse the impact of the transition to a sustainable economy on occupational health and safety. They are intended to promote measures to address new risks or worsening existing ones, taking into account the EU Strategic Framework for Health and Safety at Work 2021 - 2027.

Focus on effects on working conditions

Member States should also ensure the effective implementation and enforcement of existing regulations on working conditions. This applies in particular to the topics of health and safety at work as well as work organisation and employee participation in order to ensure fair working conditions and the quality of jobs during the transition phase.

Sustainable benefit systems

Other proposals focus on the fairness of tax and benefit systems. Member States are recommended to review and, if necessary, adapt social security systems, including social inclusion policies, in light of the employment, social and health challenges of the green transition. Quality, affordable and accessible social, health and long-term care services must be ensured. To this end, investments are to be made, in particular in social infrastructure for childcare, long-term care and healthcare.


On 14 December 2021, the European Commission had presented the proposal for a Council Recommendation on Ensuring a Fair Transition to Climate Neutrality to assist Member States in developing and implementing packages of measures to ensure a fair transition to climate neutrality. The European Commission estimates that ecological change could create an additional one million jobs by 2030 and about two million jobs by 2050 if the right measures are taken. At the same time, it must be ensured that no one is left behind.