Press releases

EU leaders signal stability on the EU’s green transition with new top jobs and agenda

Ursula von der Leyen at EPP Zagreb Congress in Croatia, 20-21 November 2019. Source: European People’s Party on Flickr.
  • All three “top jobs” nominees are experienced in seeking compromises, promoting European solutions to challenges, and driving the green transition. 
  • The strategic agenda leaves the door open to a green, prosperous and resilient future for Europe through positive, but broad, statements.  
  • It’s now Ursula Von der Leyen’s job to turn the EU leaders’ aspirations into concrete policy commitments which a majority of the European Parliament can support. 


European leaders commit – in broad terms – to pursuing a just and fair climate transition including ambitious electrification, resilience against natural hazards, build-up of net-zero technologies capacity, nature protection, unlocking the necessary investments, and ensuring welfare systems support a thriving society. 

This strategic agenda agreed overnight by European leaders certainly leaves the door open to a successful just and fair transition to climate safety but requires the next Commission to step up in terms of ambition and concrete policy commitments to achieve this. 

E3G will assess the commitments Ursula von der Leyen will make in her upcoming “political guidelines” against six benchmarks necessary to deliver a green, prosperous, and resilient future. 

  1. A new Green Industrial Deal future-proofs industry and cements Europe’s technological leadership.
  2. Cheap renewables, improved connectivity and flexible demand enhance the security and strategic autonomy of the EU.
  3. The EU reinforces its external action with an international strategy underpinned by an updated geopolitical outlook.
  4. All Europeans feel the benefit of the green transition, are better protected from climate impacts and inflation, and are supported amid the EU’s industrial transformation. 
  5. An “invest in Europe’s prosperity“ package drives sufficient public and private funding for Europe’s competitiveness, sustainability and security challenges. 
  6. The EU’s regulatory framework and governance ensures stability and predictability, increasing clarity on intermediate steps towards climate neutrality and resilience. 


Manon Dufour, Executive Director, E3G Brussels said:  
“With this decision on top job and priorities, European leaders are signalling stability on the EU’s green transition. They’ll next need to align on the EU’s 2040 climate target and an investment package to deliver on their commitment to serve Europeans. Costa has the personal connections and experience to find European solutions and compromises in the face of existential challenges.” 

Vincent Hurkens, E3G Programme Lead for Climate Governance and EU Politics said:  
“Reinforcing the European Green Deal is the best insurance for Europeans against new cost-of-living increases caused by volatile fossil fuel imports and extreme weather events. As nominated President, Von der Leyen needs steadfastness to provide predictability for businesses and more focus on the social dimension to ensure direct benefits for citizens from decarbonising the economy.” 

–  ENDS – 

Available for comment 

Manon Dufour – Executive Director, Brussels (EN, FR)  
> | +32 (0) 477 767 801 

Vincent Hurkens – E3G Programme Lead – EU Politics & Climate Governance (EN, NL, FR)  
> | +32 (0) 494 584 829 

Notes to Editors 

  1. E3G is an independent climate change think tank with a global outlook. We work on the frontier of the climate landscape, tackling the barriers and advancing the solutions to a safe climate. Our goal is to translate climate politics, economics and policies into action. About – E3G 
  2. For further enquiries email or phone +32 (0) 497 49 69 68 


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