Joint event: Ensuring a Just Transition to Climate Neutrality

Joint event: Ensuring a Just Transition to Climate Neutrality

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Ensuring a Just Transition to climate neutrality

16 December 2020, 10:00-11:30

Event co-hosted by Dennis Radtke MEP (EPP) & Agnes Jongerius MEP (S&D)

The energy transition to climate neutrality by 2050 will deeply affect Europe’s regions, cities and local population. The impact – negative and positive – will be felt quite differently between sectors and workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the need for an adequate social agenda to ensure that the energy transition does not deepening the social divide.

In a joint statement the European social partners in the gas industry EPSU, IndustriAll Europe and Eurogas “underline the importance of ensuring a Just Transition that guarantees quality jobs for Europe’s people and that no regions are left behind”

Dennis Radtke MEP (EPP) and Agnes Jongerius MEP (S&D) are pleased to co-host the announcement of this joint initiative and invite stakeholders to a stimulating a constructive discussion ‘on a strong social Europe for Just Transitions’ (2020/2084(INI)) on 16 December 2020, 10:00-11:30 CET.


Welcome by the Moderator
Sonja van Renssen, Managing Editor, Energy, New Statesman Media Group

Dennis Radtke MEP (EPP)

Panel discussion and Q&A with participants
Agnes Jongerius MEP (S&D)
Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary, EPSU
Judith Kirton-Darling, Deputy General Secretary, IndustriAll Europe
James Watson, Secretary General, Eurogas
Dennis Radtke MEP (EPP)

Concluding remarks
Agnes Jongerius MEP (S&D)


The speakers

Dennis Radtke was born in 1979 in Wattenscheid, Germany, a district of Bochum in the Ruhr Area. The Ruhr Area is Germany’s biggest metropolitan district, as well as the third largest in Europe. The industry sector plays a dominant role within this region.
Radtke is the second child of three brothers and is married to his wife, with whom he shares a daughter.
After finishing secondary school in 1998, Dennis Radtke began an apprenticeship as an industry merchant at a medium-sized company located in Bochum. He became a member of the trade union covering the industries of mining, chemistry, and energy (IG BCE) and engaged within the youth and apprentice representation of the trade union. From 2006 to 2008, Dennis Radtke completed a trainee program of IG BCE to become a trade union secretary. He remained in this position until his election to the European Parliament 10 years later.

Dennis Radtke became a member of the European Parliament for the CDU (Christian Democratic Union of Germany) in 2017. Within Parliament, he is a member of the Committee for Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), as well as a deputy member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). In July 2019, he was elected as coordinator of the European People’s Party (EPP) for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. In addition to that, Radtke is a member of the delegation for relations with the Korean peninsula and a deputy member of the delegation for relations with Japan.
Dennis Radtke is a member of the CDU and its association CDA (Christian Democratic Employees’ Association). Since 2019, he is chairman of the CDA in North Rhine-Westphalia and deputy chairman of the CDA Germany. He has been a member of the board of the CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia for more than seven years and has been working in the federal committee of experts on European Politics since 2016. Already since 2008, Dennis Radtke has been a member of the assembly of the regional association of the Ruhr area (RVR), the so-called ‘Ruhr parliament’.


In 2014, Agnes Jongerius was elected Member of the European Parliament for the Dutch Labour Party PvdA, where she is head of the PvdA Eurodelegation. Furthermore, she is spokesperson for the S&D on Employment and Social Affairs, and co-rapporteur for the own initiative report on a Strong Social Europe for Just Transitions, which aims to implement of the 2017 Social Pillar. Besides that, she is a substitute member on the INTA Committee and co-chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on Trade Unions.
Before she was elected in the European Parliament, Agnes was president of the Federation of Dutch Trading Unions (FNV). Thanks to her strong efforts as a union official, she was voted Most Influential Woman of the Year 2009 by feminist magazine Opzij.


In May 2014, Jan Willem Goudriaan was elected as the new General Secretary of the European Federation of Public Services Trade Unions (EPSU) at the 9th EPSU Congress. He was re-elected at the 10th EPSU Congress Dublin in June 2019. He started in the Dutch public services trade union AbvaKabo-FNV in 1989. In November 1992 he started to work with EPSU. He was EPSU’s Deputy General Secretary from 1997 to 2014.
He pioneered the social dialogue with the employers in the electricity, gas as well as local government sector. Together with the trade union delegations he negotiated European Works Council agreements and transnational company agreements including with Europe’s leading energy and water companies including a groundbreaking deal on improving equality and equal pay in GdfSuez. He actively promoted the social dimension of the Energy Community for South East Europe and has been an active campaigner against the privatisation of water companies in the EU amongst others.
He proposed and is vice-President of the first ever successful European Citizens’ Initiative on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation which collected 1.9 million signatures.
He is a member of the ETUC Executive Committee as well as the Executive Board of Public Services International, the global trade union federation of public services unions.


Judith Kirton-Darling is Deputy General Secretary of industriAll Europe, representing manufacturing, mining and energy workers from 38 European countries. She was formerly a Labour Member of the European Parliament for the North East of England (2014-20). Before entering parliament, she was active for 15 years within the Labour and trade union movement, notably she was elected Confederal Secretary at the European Trade Union Confederation in 2011.




Dr James Watson is the Secretary General of Eurogas, a role he has held since January 2019. Eurogas is the association representing the European gas wholesale, retail and distribution sectors.

Prior to taking the helm at Eurogas, Dr Watson was the Chief Executive Officer of SolarPower Europe, the European solar industry association. Before joining SolarPower Europe, Dr Watson worked as the Director of Public Affairs for Weber Shandwick, specialising in energy and trade policy. Before coming to Brussels, Dr Watson worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat on a European Commission project on trade and sustainable development based in Ethiopia. Earlier in his career James worked for various UK government bodies in London and worked as a lecturer in Environmental Law at the University of Manchester.

He holds a Ph.D in International Trade and Environmental Law from the University of Leeds, and is currently a Visiting Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.