The economic turmoil and the financial crisis faced by most of the European Union Member States can represent an opportunity to address the needs of the time by embarking on the ecological transformation of current production and consumption models in our societies. This transformation of the economy will entail a transformation of Europe’s employment strategies. Many of the jobs which are likely to be in demand in the future may involve tasks and require abilities different from those being demanded today. This is why we have to discuss the needed changes to the labour force and to analyse the prerequisites for the creation of green jobs, as well as the characteristics of these jobs.
The Green European Foundation (GEF) has been working extensively for the past three years on a Green New Deal for Europe – a comprehensive response to the current economic, financial, social and environmental crisis. The Green New Deal puts forward a set of reforms at micro- and macro-economic levels aimed at ensuring high levels of prosperity and well-being. The creation of decent employment and re-thinking the role work plays in our societies are central parts of this response, and thus need to be thoroughly addressed. This is how the project “Green Jobs from a Small State Perspective” developed by GEF with the support of Ceratonia Foundation in Malta came about.
The current collection of articles focuses on the Europe 2020 Strategy to create new skills and employment opportunities and its relevance for Malta, as one of the smallest Member States of the EU. As reforming the labour market, as well as creating new green jobs is a resource intensive process, Malta was chosen as an example of a small state, without extensive financial, or natural resources that would facilitate this transformation. We find it a worthwhile case study that constitutes an example for other Member States.