In 2019, the European Commission launched the European Green Deal (EGD, see EC ) as a strategic framework for policy development to achieve the aims of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (see Dupont et al. 2020). The EGD offers an opportunity to reflect on the complexity of achieving long-term sustainability through enhanced public action in a number of relevant EU policy areas. Amidst a plethora of policy challenges (such as the refugee crisis or Brexit and Covid-19), this Special Issue uses the new context created by the EGD to engage in the debate on key topics related to this transition towards sustainability. The EGD may become the extension of ecological modernisation (Jänicke 2008), where environmental protection became a perceived chance rather than a cost. By delivering the EGD, the EU may put its action and money behind this idea.