The ENTRANCES project has successfully completed its first year and is on target to complete the second year, accomplishing all its objectives despite the unforeseen challenges that the COVID-19 Pandemic provided.

Looking back at the previously developed work, it is important to highlight two specific moments throughout the duration of the project thus far. The first significant moment worth mentioning is the accomplishment of the co-creation meeting, organised with the aim to ascertain and consolidate the knowledge on these domains. This meeting, that included the participation of relevant stakeholders (EU policymakers; regional stakeholders, researchers of the ENTRANCES’ sister projects - CINTRAN, TRACER, Tipping Plus -, and members of the project’s scientific advisory board), contributed to the creation of a stronger connection with the EU policy agenda. Furthermore, the meeting also aided the development of knowledge regarding the requirement to support the territories that are in risk of being forgotten amongst the transition towards clean energy.

This co-creation meeting also contributed to the development of a deeper understanding concerning the issues related to “Clean Energy Transition” in the 13 coal and carbon-intensive regions. These regions act as case studies to ensure that the results of the ENTRANCES project auspiciously tackle the real challenges, as well as creating approachable recommendations that directly affect the decisions and policies of the European Union.

The second noteworthy moment to highlight is the project adopting a gender-sensitive perspective, considering gender is a key factor in the transition of coal and carbon-intensive regions and its relationship between its community and territory. The role of this research was to unveil hidden, or less addressed, dimensions such as socio-economic, socio-ecological, social-technical, and to provide evidence of how they relate to each other across the 13 case studies.

In the conceptual strand, which addresses the conceptual framework of the study, the work ended in December 2020. A multidimensional analytic research framework was developed, containing different factors, dynamics and patterns related to all aspects of energy transition. The conceptual framework paved the way for the methodological and analytical frameworks for the study. The work on WP2, which translates the conceptual framework into analytical framework, began in December 2020 and completed its first three tasks during the last five months.
In the empirical strand, which aims to develop case studies in seven coal mining regions (i.e., Silesia (PL), Sulcis Iglesiente (IT), Lusatia (DE), Rhineland (DE), Central Germany (DE), Jiu Valley (RO) and Upper Nitra (SK)) and six carbon intensive regions (i.e., Brindisi (IT); Kraków Metropolitan Area (PL); A Coruña (ES); Upper Styria (AU); Stavanger (NO); South Wales Valleys (UK)), work began in January 2021. The work is currently still progressing and the case study reports for all selected coal and carbon intensive regions will soon be ready. These case study reports will provide the actual state of decarbonisation in all selected coal and carbon intensive regions, helping researchers to understand the ground reality (major challenges or opportunities) of different coal and carbon intensive regions in the EU.

Finally, in the co-creation strand related to the WP3 and WP4, the aims of which are to conduct a comparative analysis of different case study regions, work began in June 2021. The data collection and integration process related to the WP3 and WP4 are currently underway and data analysis will begin later this year. The first two data collection tools, i.e., survey and text material collection have already begun and will be concluded in January 2022. It will focus on the socio-psychological aspects of the energy transition process, and was designed to collect information on the impact of decarbonisation policies on the psychological wellbeing of people affected (directly or indirectly) by this transition. Similarly, when studying the narratives around the decarbonisation process and the policy responses, the researchers from different case study regions will collect text material from all published sources available in all selected regions.

In the knowledge co-production strand, which aims at the co-production and co-creation of knowledge regarding different social aspects of the energy transition, the first co-creation meeting was held on June 10, 2021. At this meeting, researchers from different institutes around the world, policy makers, representatives from different countries (where the decarbonisation process is in progress) participated and collectively shared their views on the ongoing energy transition in the EU and elsewhere. A detailed analysis of the information collected during the co-creation meeting will prove useful in helping researchers to make policy recommendations for selected coal and carbon intensive regions in different parts of the EU.


Co-creating knowledge on carbon-intensive regions in transition:
EU Policy and Scientific approaches

In order to pursue greater involvement of social dialogue and a better understanding of the energy transition, the Co-creation meeting brought stakeholders from a variety of diverse backgrounds together. During both the morning and afternoon sessions over 70 people were involved in the discussion, among which we find representatives from the European Commission and organizations from Africa, Asia and America, EU policymakers, regional stakeholders, researchers of the ENTRANCES sister projects or members of the project's scientific advisory board, who intervened as speakers and shared their visions on the subject.

The co-creation meeting promoted by ENTRANCES
 Horizon 2020 Project took place on 10th of June

Abundant and diverse conclusions were reached in order to share a knowledge integration framework for cross-disciplinary interpretation and to provide a set of policy recommendations to assist decarbonized regions in their transition to a green future. The need to alleviate the negative impact of the climate transition in the most affected regions, always considering structural changes and economic, social, and demographic impacts, was one of the pivotal points reached during the discussion. It was constantly remarked that the EU has an essential role in defining an agenda for comprehensive transformation; always taking into account economic diversification from a horizontal approach of social inclusion and sustainability. Likewise, the EU must support and advise the Member States to integrate gender into their Just Transition policies. ENTRANCES can help to identify fair ways which allow each region to individually benefit from the transition.

Moreover, it was concluded that institutional innovation is a requirement for successful systemic restructuring and that inclusive economic structures are crucial in this process. The modernization of energy and industry depends on the ongoing political and economic decisions, the role of research and the vital inclusion of local actors. The Green Transition must be carried out from a micro perspective, and an explicit mechanism must be implemented to facilitate civil society being considered in economic development planning. This meeting was the first step of a rewarding journey which will of course entail a significant amount of effort and work, however we must continue to focus on the ecological transition and its consequences.

The event was attended by more than 120 registered
 participants, from multiple countries and public and private entities

The success of the European decarbonization policy depends on the reactions, attitudes and behaviours of both individuals and communities, the main target group. Let´s continue to work and persevere so that the contributions of the ENTRANCES project have a real, significant impact on European politics.


Riicardo Garcia Mira, UDC

Glynnis Breakwell, Advisory Group


                 Alekxandra Tomzak, Gabinet Vice-President of the EU

Esteban Pelayo, EURADA

More information about the Co-creation meeting here:
You can read everything about the project here:


Gender dimensions of the transition towards cleaner energy

ENTRANCES conceives gender in the territorial energy transformation process as a chance to raise questions, not only about patterns of production and consumption but about power, participation, and the underlying norms and practices that determine the distribution of costs and benefits for different social identities. The benefits will be threefold: 

  1. First, this will deconstruct social and power structures created by traditional coal systems and thus disclose how these operate to either support or obstruct the transition.
  2. Second, intersectional inequalities, which need to be addressed directly in the phasing-out process, will be identified.
  3. Third, this will emphasize social justice within the transition as it considers i) a more equal distribution of costs and gains among affected social communities, ii) the representation and public participation of social actors in the process, and iii) the recognition of the different ways in which people interact with their territories.

Preliminary findings show that economic, political, psychological, cultural, ecological, and technical implications of the coal decline are not gender neutral. In order to address local realities in our research we are seeking local gender experts who are interested in exchanging experiences.


Different inter-disciplinar scientific approaches for a common
policy at the EU level

ENTRANCES has participated in a number of meetings with the aim of creating synergies with sister projects funded by the European Commission under the same call, or from other calls. These were some of them:

  • Horizon 2020 Project Clustering Workshop on Coal Regions in Transition, held on 17 November 2020, involving the coordinators and key researchers of the ENTRANCES, CINTRAN, TIPPING-Plus and TRACER projects, addressing a debate regarding the challenges of socio-economic conditions and their impact on livelihoods and economic sustainability. Different coping strategies were discussed, as well as the impact of migration on the socio-demographic composition of coal regions, and how this has influenced the rise of populism and anti-democratic attitudes. Other cross-cutting themes related to socio-cultural, socio-economic and gender issues were also addressed, as well as ways to engage citizens. In this meeting also participated: Aleksandra TOMCZAK, Cabinet Member – Commissioner Frans TIMMERMANS, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal with this topic “European Green Deal and Just Transition”; Peter BERKOWITZ, Head of UNIT, DG REGIO, with the topic “Smart and Sustainable Growth (G.1) Implementation of the Just Transition Fund”; Brieuc POSNIC, Policy Coordinator, DG ENERGY, with the topic “Retail Markets, Consumers and Local Initiatives – Coal Regions in Transition Initiative”; and José MOYA, Project Leader, Joint Research Center with the topic “Knowledge for the Energy Union – Scientific Evidence for Job Creation Opportunities”.
  • Horizon 2020 grouping event with other consortia on coal regions in transition, held on 4 March 2021, involving the coordinators and other key researchers of the TRACER, TIPPING-Plus, CINTRAN and ENTRANCES projects, discussing the progress of these four projects during the first year of implementation. Discussions focused on fostering debate on how best to support coal-intensive European regions in designing research strategies; investigating relevant societal challenges, including the re-skilling of the workforce; and exchanging some good practices for involving sister projects in this task.
  • Meeting with representatives of IKI JET Project – “Innovative regions for a just energy transition”, held on 3 May 2021. This was another online meeting, organised by GIZ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Climate Action Network International, IISD, International Labour Organisation, ITUC CSI and Wuppertal Institut. Participants from EURADA (Esteban Pelayo and Emilio Lage), UDC (Ricardo Garcia Mira) and GIZ (Joscha Rosenbusch) carried out discussions aimed at creating synergies and identifying areas of potential cooperation in the field of evidence-based policy dialogue with knowledge partners and other actors from developing countries.


Together with CINTRAN, TRACER and Tipping Plus, ENTRANCES is a member of a cluster of EU-funded Research and Innovation projects on regional Energy Transitions research. With similar aims and objectives, all four projects will contribute to the achievement of “European-level Clean Energy Transition” both individually and as a whole with optimised impacts.

CINTRAN ( or “Carbon Intensive Regions in Transition – Unravelling the Challenges of Structural Change” will study the structural changes of decarbonisation in order to find ways to minimise the risks. The researchers will combine quantitative model-based research with qualitative in-depth analysis.The qualitative research will focus on four highly fossil-fuel dependent regions: Western Macedonia (Greece), Silesia (Poland), Ida-Virumaa (Estonia) and the Rhenish mining area (Germany).

TRACER ( supports nine coal-intensive regions around Europe to design (or re-design) their Research and Innovation (R&I) strategies in order to facilitate their transition towards a sustainable energy system. Six of the nine European regions involved are from EU Members States (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Poland, Romania), and three from outside the EU (Serbia, Ukraine, UK), but with the same challenges and considerations as the EU Member States ones.

Tipping Plus ( intends to advance the scientific understanding of the critical concept of Social-Ecological Tipping Points (SETPs) to support successful clean-energy transitions in Coal and Carbon Intensive Regions (CCIRs). It will provide an empirical in-depth social science understanding of fundamental changes in socio-demographic, geographical, psychological, cultural, political, and economic patterns. The project will comparatively analyse 20 European and non-European regions.


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ENTRANCES project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement nº 883947. This newsletter represents the view of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility: it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA). The European Commission and the Agency do not accept responsibility for the use that may be made of the information it contains.


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