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  1. An institution, body, office or agency established by or based on the Treaty on European Union and the Treaties establishing the European Communities.

    All education and training facilities for people of different age groups.

    An intergovernmental organization having legal personality under public international law or a specialized agency established by such an international organization. An international organization, the majority of whose members are Member States or Associated Countries and whose main objective is to promote scientific and technological cooperation in Europe, is an International Organization of European Interest.

    A person with legal rights and obligations. Unlike a legal entity, a natural person does not have a legal act (e.g. association, limited liability company, etc.).

    An NPO is an institution or organization which, by virtue of its legal form, is not profit-oriented or which is required by law not to distribute profits to its shareholders or individual members. An NGO is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that does not represent business interests. Pursues a common purpose for the benefit of society.

    A partnership, corporation, person, or agency that is for-profit and not operated by the government.

    Any government or other public administration, including public advisory bodies, at the national, regional or local level.

    A research institution is a legal entity established as a non-profit organization whose main objective is to conduct research or technological development. A college/university is a legal entity recognized by its national education system as a university or college or secondary school. It may be a public or private institution.

    A microenterprise, a small or medium-sized enterprise (business) as defined in EU Recommendation 2003/361. To qualify as an SME for EU funding, an enterprise must meet certain conditions, including (a) fewer than 250 employees and (b) an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million. These ceilings apply only to the figures for individual companies.

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  1. Governance, partnership: Projects aimed at increasing the application of multilevel and transnational or cross-border governance, designing and testing appropriate governance structures and mechanisms. Also cooperation between public institutions on any theme.

    Innovation capacity and awareness-raising: Actions that increase a person’s or organisation’s capacity for innovation (not innovation as such), and that establish the capacity to diffuse and apply innovation; projects that stimulate innovation in different areas and innovation capacities; strengthening and empowering of innovation networks.

    Institutional cooperation and cooperation networks: Projects working on the improvement of institutional cross-border co-operation and capacities, on renewing and simplifying administrative management through long term cooperation between institutions (e.g. Euregion), on establishing and sharing regional knowledge and intercultural understanding and cohesion. It also deals with cooperations between universities, health care facilities, schools and sports organisations, as well as with management and capacity building.

    Activities focussing on agricultural products, organic farming, horticulture, as well as forest management and wood products; furthermore the development of the food sector, food chains, organic food production, and seafood products and any topics related to animals and fishing.

    Agriculture and fisheries and forestry: Projects focussing on agricultural products (i.e. fruits, meat, olives, etc.), organic farming, horticulture, as well as forest management and wood products. Also the development of the agro-food sector, food chains, organic food production, and seafood products. Any topics related to animals (i.e. health, management) and fishing (i.e. sustainable fishery, aquaculture).

    Soil and air quality: Projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

    Climate change and biodiversity projects assisting mitigation and adaption to climate change and environmental impacts of climate change. Development of low carbon technologies and strategies, reduction of CO2 emissions from all sectors. Promotion of biodiversity, new instruments to enhance biodiversity and natural protection.

    Soil and air quality projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

    Water management projects about management and distribution of drinking water, integrated sustainable water management, monitoring systems for water supply and improving drinking water quality; also water treatment (wastewater), in particular, innovative technologies to improve wastewater, treatments in the purification of industrial and domestic wastewater and water reuse policies. Waterways, lakes and rivers: This deals with any topics on waterways, lakes and rivers, from improving water quality, protecting and developing of ecosystems or sustainable wetland management.

    Activities that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

    Cultural heritage and arts projects that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

    Tourism projects dealing with the promotion of natural assets, and the protection and development of natural heritage, as well as increasing the touristic attractiveness through the better use of natural, cultural and historical heritage. Also projects about improved tourist services/products, development of ecotourism models, tourism development strategies.

    Sustainable management of natural resources projects focussing on the protection, promotion and valorization, and sustainable management and conservation of natural areas (habitats, geo parks, protected areas, etc.). Also projects focussing on preserving and enhancing cultural and natural heritage and landscape, as well as protecting the marine environment.

    Projects on waste management (innovative services and strategies), ecological waste treatment, treatment techniques/systems; waste disposal and recycling (improvement of recycling, innovative recycling technologies, recovery of organic waste, repair & re-use centres and networks); also prevention of pollution and pollution control (ecological and circular economy, marine littering, etc.).

    Labour market and employment: creating employment opportunities and/or optimising jobs, academic (un)employment and job mobility, workforce attraction and improvement of employment conditions for different groups.

    SME and entrepreneurship: strengthening SME capacities, boosting entrepreneurial activities in different sectors and for different groups, supporting social entrepreneurship, creating business support/advisory systems for start-ups/spin-offs/incubators, improving the competitiveness of SMEs, and promoting new business processes.

    Community integration and common identity projects that build identity, create a more cohesive society, promote positive relations through an increased provision of shared spaces and services.

    Demographic change and immigration is about projects tackling major societal challenges like demographic change in different areas and migration, in particular, aging society (active aging, best agers, silver economy strategies) and related new public services (adaptation of key services and infrastructure), social and spatial segregation, and brain drain. Also all topics on migration (policy tools, strategic planning, integration).

    All projects where ICT has a significant role, including tailor-made ICT solutions in different fields, as well as digital innovation hubs, open data, Internet of Things; ICT access and connecting (remote) areas with digital infrastructure and services; services and applications for citizens (e-health, e-government, e-learning, e-inclusion, etc.); services and applications for companies (e-commerce, networking, digital transformation, etc.).

    This is about the mitigation and management of risks and disasters, and the anticipation and response capacity towards the actors regarding specific risks and management of natural disasters, for example, prevention of flood and drought hazards, forest fire, strong weather conditions, etc.. It is also about risk assessment and safety.

    Education and training projects on expanding educational opportunities, reducing barriers in the field of education, improving higher education and lifelong learning, training and labour mobility, educational networks, higher vocational education, common learning programmes.

    Topics on energy management, energy-saving methods, evaluating energy efficiency measurements, energy rehabilitation/efficiency in buildings / public infrastructure, promotion of energy efficiency, cooperation among experienced energy efficiency firms, institutions and local administrations, co-generation.

    Projects focussing on wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal and other renewable energy, increasing the production of sustainable renewable energy and improving research capacities in biomass. Also projects focussing on storage and management of renewable energy, new technologies, sustainable regional bioenergy policies and financial Instruments for investments on renewable energy.

    Social projects concerning people with disabilities and excluded groups; enhancement of the capacity of children, young people, women and elderly; creation of infrastructure to improve access for disabled people, integration of socially vulnerable people; innovate in the care of victims of gender violence, social inclusion of women, etc.

    This deals with the development of health and social services and improved accessibility and efficiency for different groups (elderly, children, etc.). It is also about new healthcare models and medical diagnosis and treatments (dementia, cancer, diabetes, etc.), hospitals, care management, and rare diseases, as well as improving wellbeing and promoting sports.

    Projects about (organised) crime, efficient and secure borders, such as enhancing the effectiveness of the police in the prevention of drug crimes, the development of safety services, or tackling security and organised crime issues.

    Activities related to:

    • Transport and mobility covering all sorts of transport (incl. urban transport) and mobility.
    • Improving transport connections dealing with traffic and/or transport connections, rehabiliation/modernisation, better connectivity, improving accessibility/connections, but also public transport.
    • Multimodal transport and logistics and freight transport focusing on using different means of transport, developing multimodal connections, optimising intermodal transport chains; offering multimodal logistics solutions and providing access to clean, efficient and multimodal transport corridors and hubs; establishing cooperation among logistic centres and developing multimodal mobility strategies.

    Activities related to:

    • urban development, such as planning and design of cities and urban areas, urban renewal, urban-rural links (climate, sustainable mobility, water efficiency, participation, sustainable land use, smart cities, public urban areas, regeneration)
    • regional planning and development, such as the implementation of regional development policies/instruments and programmes, sustainable land use management plans, integrated regional action plans, spatial planning, and marine protected area management.
    • rural and peripheral development, referring to remote, sparsely populated areas, rural community development, and rural economics, in particular access to remote areas and policies for rural areas.
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Call key data

European Universities - Development of new deep institutional transnational cooperation (Topic 2)

Funding Program

Erasmus+ - Key Action 2 – Cooperation among Organisations and Institutions

Call number




31.01.2023 17:00

Deadline - 2nd stage


Funding rate

80 %

Call budget

€ 38,400,000.00

Estimated EU contribution per project

48 months

Link to the call

Link to the submission

Call content

short description

This call topic will provide support for applicants wishing to establish new deep institutional transnational cooperation in a new ‘European Universities’ alliance.

Call objectives

European Universities are highly ambitious transnational alliances of higher education institutions developing long-term institutional structural and strategic cooperation, based on common values and agreed principles, and aiming to achieve sustainability of their cooperation. The European Universities initiative responds to a long-term vision that has the potential to transform the institutional cooperation between higher education institutions and bring it to the next level.

In this context, ’European Universities’ will reach the above aims by gradually implementing the following specific objectives:

  • Develop and implement an integrated long-term joint strategy for education with, where possible, links to research and innovation, and service to society, that is responsive to the digital and green transition and key socioeconomic challenges, while remaining committed to excellence;
  • Build European knowledge-creating teams (“challenge-based approach”) of students and academics, possibly together with researchers, entrepreneurs, companies, local and regional actors, and civil society actors – depending on the overall strategy and vision of the alliance – working together to address societal and other challenges of their choice in an inter-disciplinary approach.

In addition, ‘European Universities’ should progressively build their capacity to act as models of good practice to further increase the quality, international competitiveness and attractiveness of the European higher education landscape. European Universities, in cooperation with their national authorities, should commit to work towards relevant policy objectives of the European Education Area, such as: multilingualism; automatic recognition of academic qualifications and learning periods abroad provided for by the participating higher education institutions within the alliance; the implementation of the European Student Card initiative; where relevant, the implementation of a whole institutional approach to sustainability and climate literacy and mainstreaming of education for sustainable development across all levels and disciplines; as well as the Bologna key commitments (quality assurance, recognition, and wherever applicable three cycle degree); and share relevant data with the European Higher Education Observatory. European Universities alliances are also encouraged to work together, for example by forming hubs, together with their innovation ecosystems, to join forces and work on common actions for bringing synergies between education and innovation, as highlighted in the European strategy for universities and the new European Innovation Agenda.

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Expected effects and impacts

The European Universities alliances are expected to benefit to all involved higher education institutions, higher education systems, EU Member States and the broader society and HEIs ecosystem. European Universities are expected to trigger the following impact:

  • Play a critical role in promoting the European way of life, and in achieving the European Education Area and the European Research Area, in synergy with the European Higher Education Area.
  • Contribute to a more united, innovative, digital, connected and green Europe, open to the wider world, by increasing the resilience, excellence, geographical and social inclusiveness of European higher education institutions.
  • Increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of participating higher education institutions on the global scene, by becoming stronger together through deeper transnational cooperation and seamless mobility of students, academics and researchers, and creating and sharing knowledge, developing new concepts, technologies and innovation at unprecedented speed.
  • Promote European values, foster respect of academic freedom and institutional autonomy and strengthen the European identity for all learners, teachers, researchers and staff to cooperate and co-create knowledge within different European and global cultures, in different languages, across borders, sectors and academic disciplines.
  • Act as actors of change for the digital and green transitions, for Europe’s recovery and future resilience.
  • Boost the excellence dimension of higher education, research and innovation, while promoting gender equality, inclusiveness, diversity and equity.
  • Trigger a much deeper level of transnational institutional cooperation between higher education institutions, leading to long-term structural institutional transformation with positive impact on higher education learning and teaching, fostering joint educational activities and allowing for more inclusive and enhanced flexible learning approaches. Improve students’, staff, researchers and lifelong learners’ skills and employability perspectives, including entrepreneurial, transversal, intercultural, digital and green skills, and fuel innovation through a flow of creative talents to support the establishment and scaling up of start-ups and SMEs in Europe, notably by setting up and reinforcing technology transfer, or sharing knowledge and technology transfer capacity, thus potentially supporting the development of emerging novel concepts likely to lead to breakthroughs or market creative innovations.
  • Make lifelong learning a reality in higher education, by offering diverse education opportunities and introducing innovative and student-centred pedagogies, jointly delivered across European inter-university campuses, where a diverse student body can build flexible learning paths at all levels of their studies and career.
  • Advance knowledge and enable talent circulation, thus fostering education, social and technological innovation to address societal challenges, and build a more sustainable future.
  • Contribute to regional development and positively impact the local communities and ecosystems through education and training, research and knowledge exchange, contributing to improvements in societal well-being.
  • Act as catalysts for the launch of new instruments and legal frameworks to accelerate the transformation of all universities across Europe.

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Eligibility Criteria

Regions / countries for funding

EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)
Iceland (Ísland), Liechtenstein, North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Türkiye

eligible entities

Education and training institution, Research Institution incl. University

Mandatory partnership


Project Partnership

Proposals must be submitted by a consortium of at least 3 applicants (beneficiaries not affiliated entities), which complies with the following conditions:

  • Minimum 3 eligible higher education institutions from 3 different eligible countries.
  • A higher education institution may participate as full partner in only one European Universities alliance funded by the Erasmus+ programme at the same time.
  • A higher education institution may only participate as full partner in one single European Universities application; they may participate in other applications only as associated partners.

other eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

  • Be legal entities (public or private bodies).
  • Be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs)).
    • Non-EU countries: third countries associated to the Erasmus+ Programme (including EEA countries), countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement to the Erasmus+ programme and where that agreement enters into force before the grant signature (list of participating countries) and
    • Non-EU countries: Western Balkans third countries not associated to the programme: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo (This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence)

The applicants (potential beneficiaries and their affiliated entities if any) must be:

  • Higher Education Institutions holding a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) and entities affiliated to them, including:
    • Higher Education Institutions already involved in deep institutional transnational cooperation, such as those being part of European Universities selected under the 2020 Erasmus+ call. They can be joined on a voluntary basis by other higher education institutions - holding a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) and entities affiliated to them - wishing to participate in such existing alliances.
    • Higher Education Institutions wishing to establish new deep institutional transnational cooperation in a new alliance.
  • Any other organisation consisting of the above referred higher education institutions - specifically set up with the purpose of implementing deep institutional transnational cooperation, including joint educational activities.

Other entities may participate in other consortium roles, such as associated partners, subcontractors, third parties giving in-kind contributions, etc.

Associated partners DO NOT receive EU funding under this grant, but their involvement and role in different activities have to be clearly described in the proposal.

The associated partners can be:

  • Any higher education institution established in an EU Member State or a third country associated to the programme holding a valid ECHE Erasmus Charter for Higher Education.
  • Any public/private organisation from an EU Member State or third country associated to the programme active in the field of education and training, research and innovation or in the world of work.
  • Any higher education institution established in a third country not associated to the programme that is part of the European Higher Education Area (Bologna Process) or in Kosovo.

Additional information


Education & Training, Children & Youth, Media

Relevance for EU Macro-Region

EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region

UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)

project duration

48 Monate

Additional Information

Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:

  • Part A — contains administrative information about the participant (to be filled in directly online)
  • Part B — contains the technical description of the project (EPS, HEI profile and organisation and management structure, implementation of the ECHE principles) (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded).
  • Part C containing additional project data ((to be filled in directly online).
  • manadatory annexes and supporting documents
    • detailed budget table
    • list of previous project (key project for the last 4 years)
    • other annexes: the joint mission statement

Applications are limited to maximum 120 pages (Part B).


European Education and Culture Executive Agency

Erasmus+ National Agencies

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