The new EU Chief Wants Europe to Give up Coal and Oil, Creates a Special Fund
The newly elected President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said the European Union is planning to launch a special fund to help wean members off fossil fuels and extensive consultations on the future of Europe.
This was stated on Thursday as she visited coal-dependent Poland, France 24 reported, quoting AFP.
She made this statement in Poland, whose energy is very dependent on coal mining. Last month, Warsaw blocked the EU's attempt to set a zero-emission greenhouse gas target by 2050 and called for measures to offset the cost of switching to new energy sources.
"There will be a huge investment necessary in regions that have to step up into new technologies and new jobs, that's why we will create the Just Transition Fund, to support those regions," Von der Leyen told reporters at a joint press conference with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw.
"We have to make sure that we ... take people along" as the EU reduces its emissions that cause global warming, she said, quoted by AFP.
Britain is expected to leave the EU by the end of October, and von der Leyen announced that she will launch comprehensive consultations on the bloc's future after taking office in November.
"We want to begin a conference on the future of Europe, that we go out in our member states and discuss how people, the European people think the future of their European Union should be," she said, calling it "an incredible endeavour."
Von der Leyen also touched on the topic for the rule of law in Poland, which carries anti-democratic reforms in the judiciary under the ultra-conservative Law and Justice party. Poland is the biggest threat to democracy in Europe today, the country has never had democratic traditions for more than 10 years in all of its modern history since 1918.
"There are difficult issues we have to tackle like migration or the rule of law," von der Leyen said, calling for dialogue and mutual respect when addressing differences.
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