Portugal will receive more than €223.8 million under the Just Transition Fund (JTF) following today's adoption of three multi-fund programmes that include the Territorial Just Transition Plans (TJTPs). This EU support will help deliver a just climate transition in the Portuguese Just Transition regions of Alentejo Litoral and Médio Tejo and the city of Matosinhos.
This decision closes the adoption of all the 11 programmes that will operationalise €22.6 billion Cohesion Policy's investments in Portugal in 2021-2027 to support a territorially balanced, fair, green and digital economy.
Portugal has recently closed three of the largest CO2-emitting plants in the country: two coal-fired power plants in Sines (Alentejo Litoral) and Médio Tejo, and the oil refinery in Matosinhos.
Economic diversification in Alentejo Litoral
In Alentejo Litoral, the JTF will diversify the local economy by supporting research and innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in renewable energy, agri-food and tourism, and by investing in local sustainable mobility.
The Fund is expected to create around 200 new jobs and will support the professional reorientation of workers in the region affected by the closure of the power plant through training and up- and reskilling activities. The JTF will also provide assistance for self-employment and innovative entrepreneurship.
Boosting the socio-economic development of Médio Tejo
In Médio Tejo, the JTF will boost economic diversification by supporting SMEs with innovative entrepreneurship, research and new technologies in emerging green sectors.
The JTF will also support the training of 420 workers in the region affected by the ongoing energy transition to acquire new qualifications and find new jobs.
Improving the economic development in Matosinhos
In Matosinhos, in the Metropolitan Area of Porto, the JTF will support the establishment of a new innovation hub with a particular focus on sustainable mobility, clean energy, advance manufacturing and marine economy.
Bringing sustainable public transport to this hub will also be among the priorities of the JTF investments in this territory.
Moreover, the economy will be diversified by helping local SMEs affected by the closure of the refinery to adapt their business model.
The JTF is expected to create 150 new jobs in the supported SMEs and will reskill and train 170 long-term unemployed people.
The JTF ensures that the transition towards a climate-neutral economy happens in a fair way, leaving no one behind, in particular in the affected regions.
Those territories are identified during negotiations of the 2021-2027 Partnership Agreements and the associated programmes between the Portuguese authorities and the Commission.
The Partnership Agreement with Portugal was approved in July 2022. Portugal will receive a total of €22.6 billion in EU funding in the period 2021-2027 for a more competitive, greener and fairer Portugal via 11 programmes that are now adopted. Four national programmes will contribute to boost employment opportunities, education and training, protect the environment and ensure sustainability, technical assistance as well as innovation and the digital transition in the entire country. Seven regional programmes will support competitiveness, the green and digital transition and jobs in Lisbon, Madeira, the Azores and the Norte, Algarve, Alentejo and Centro regions.
The TJTPs, developed by the national and regional authorities in close consultation with local partners, identify the challenges and development strategy and needs in each territory, and the objectives to be met by 2030. They also identify the planned actions with specific governance mechanisms.
The approval of TJTPs opens the door to funding by the JTF as well as to dedicated financing under the other two pillars of the Just Transition Mechanism (JTM): a just transition scheme under InvestEU and a Public Sector Loan Facility for Just Transition that combines Commission grants with European Investment Bank loans. The JTM provides targeted support to help mobilise around €55 billion over the period 2021-2027 in the most affected regions.
Local partners and all stakeholders can also get support and exchange best practices and experiences all across the EU via the Just Transition Platform.
Upon request by the Portuguese Authorities, the Commission provided tailor-made technical expertise for the preparation of the National Strategy for transition from coal of the concerned Portuguese regions. The support was provided by the Technical Support Instrument under DG REFORM.