Dr Sander HappaertsDG REGIO Policy Officer - Just Transition

Dr Sander Happaerts is a policy analyst on sustainable growth at the European Commission’s Directorate-General Regional and Urban Policy. He coordinates the work on the Just Transition Fund, which will invest EUR 19.2 billion to alleviate the social and economic impacts of the climate transition in the 2021-2027 period.

Previously, he was responsible for environmental and climate issues, working with other Commission services to integrate environmental objectives into cohesion policy investments across the EU. From 2017 to 2019, Sander was a member of the Young Talent Network of ESPAS (European Strategy and Policy Analysis System), an inter-institutional EU project looking at medium and long-term trends facing or relating to the European Union.

Before joining the Commission in 2014, Sander worked as a research manager and lecturer on sustainability transitions and environmental policy at KU Leuven (Belgium). His PhD research on regional policies for sustainable development was awarded in the 2012 Thesis Competition of the European Committee of the Regions.

With degrees in linguistics and international relations from KU Leuven, Sander did an internship at the Belgian Permanent Representation to the UN in New York in 2006, where he followed Security Council affairs.