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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.

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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

EUI: City-to-City Exchanges – Capacity Building

Funding Program

European Urban Initiative

Call number

EUI-City-to-City Exchanges



17.11.2023 12:00

date - 2nd stage


Link to the call

Link to the submission

Call content

short description

The Call for Applications for city-to-city exchanges is now open, providing support to urban authorities in addressing implementation challenges related to sustainable urban development.

Call objectives

A city-to-city exchange brings together an urban authority (‘the applicant’) facing a specific implementation challenge related to Sustainable Urban Development and another urban authority from a different EU Member State with expertise which could help tackle this challenge (‘the peer’) for a short-term, quickly implemented visit. In principle, city-to-city exchanges are bilateral in nature, but a second peer may be included, if justified.

A city-to-city exchange is a bottom-up, on-demand activity. The content, timing and format of the exchange are defined by the applicant according to their specific needs related to the design and implementation of Sustainable Urban Development. The peers must be identified by the applicant.

The objective of a city-to-city exchange is to improve the capacity of the applicant to tackle the identified challenge through a process of peer learning and sharing of expertise. Peers are expected to share practical knowledge and know-how tailored to the identified challenge and the urban context of the applicant.

read more

Expected results

EUI capacity building activities contribute to the following specific objectives:
  • To improve the capacities of cities in the design of sustainable urban policies and practices in an integrated and participative way 
  • To improve the design and implementation of sustainable urban strategies and action plans in cities
The main activities proposed by EUI to contribute to these objectives are as follows:
  • Peer learning activities
    • City-to-city exchanges: In-person visits (followed by an online exchange, when justified) carried out among groups of two or three cities. Peer cities share new working methods and innovative approaches on specific implementation challenges identified by the applicant city.
    • Peer Reviews: Several article 11 SUD strategies are reviewed simultaneously by peers. Peer reviews may be organised as EU-wide events, events for a Cluster of EU Member States, or countryspecific events.
  • Capacity building events: Urban and managing authorities, and relevant stakeholders exchange information with each other and with the Commission on relevant urban challenges and on the implementation of Article 11 SUD strategies seeking for on synergies and learnings from with UIA/EUI-IA, URBACT IV and the UAEU. Organised in various formats (seminars, workshops, trainings) and at different scales (EU-wide, multi-country, or countryspecific), mixing expert-led and peer learning.
The below list offers a non-exhaustive list of potential thematic and operational challenges that may be addressed, which cover the full range of policy objectives supported through Cohesion Policy.
  • Productive, smart and connected: Research and Innovation, Digital transition, Localising production, Decarbonised mobility, Culture and sustainable tourism, Support to Small and Medium Entreprises and entrepreneurs
  • Green: Sustainable soil and land use, Resilient environments, Climate adaptation, Clean and healthy environments, Biodiversity and nature protection, Energy transition, Circular Economy
  • Just and Inclusive: Inclusion, Access to housing, Education and employment, Access to essential services
  • Place based: Safe and secure urban environment, Balanced territorial development (including urban-rural linkages), Urban regeneration, Sustainable urban planning

read more

Eligibility Criteria

Regions / countries for funding

EU Member States

eligible entities

Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs)

Mandatory partnership


Project Partnership

Only urban authorities from EU Member States are eligible to apply. There is no minimum population requirement for the city, town, functional urban area or suburb. Relevant stakeholders may also participate in the exchange alongside the urban authority if justified in the application.

Urban authorities may be: 

  • A Local Administrative Unit defined according to the degree of urbanisation as city, town or suburb (corresponding to DEGURBA code 1 or DEGURBA code 2 of Eurostat). 
  • An association or grouping of urban authorities with legal status of organised agglomeration composed by Local Administrative Units, where the majority (at least 51%) of inhabitants lives in Local Administrative Units defined according to the degree of urbanisation (DEGURBA) of Eurostat as cities, towns or suburbs (corresponding to DEGURBA code 1 or DEGURBA code 2).
The applicant needs to be located in an EU Member State and the peer(s) needs to be located within a different EU Member State to the applicant.

Applications are invited from any eligible authorities on a rolling basis. However, applications from specific categories of urban authorities will be evaluated with priority: 

  • urban authorities in less developed regions (first priority) and transition regions (second priority) 
  • urban authorities with less than 500,000 inhabitants 
  • urban authorities that have participated in an EUI peer review 
  • urban authorities that have not yet benefited from an approved city-to-city exchange
  • urban authorities resubmitting a previously rejected city-to-city exchange application

other eligibility criteria

City-to-city exchanges offer short-term opportunities for peer learning. City-to-city exchanges can be as simple as one visit between two cities. However, reciprocal visits are also possible. When duly justified, an applicant may define up to three visits per application if a series of events is most suited to tackling the identified challenge.

A visit may last between two to five days. Applicants are expected to implement the visits as soon as possible following approval (i.e., as early as within the first month following notification of approval). At the latest, all visits must be completed within 5 months of notification of approval (e.g., for an exchange approved on 10 May consisting of three visits, all must be completed by 10 October).

When duly justified in the application form, one ONLINE EXCHANGE per application may be organised as a follow-up to an in-person visit(s). This may allow the applicant and peer(s) to further discuss the challenge addressed, providing additional, updated information. It may be easier to mobilise specific staff from peer or applicant cities since no travel is required.

Applicants are required to produce a follow-up report in English and share it with EUI PS within one month of the exchange. The content of the report should include the following information: 

  • Participants (including name, position, institution, city, financed by EUI or not) 
  • Objectives of exchange 
  • Agenda (including format and duration) 
  • Current situation and challenges 
  • Expected impact from the city-to-city exchange 
  • Key takeaways / recommendations for applicant to tackle the implementation challenge 
  • Any follow-up actions proposed (e.g., additional exchanges to be requested, introductions to be made by peers, additional resources to be shared by peers, suggestions for capacity building events)

If an exchange consisted of several events, only one follow-up report should be provided documenting all events. Receipt and validation of the follow-up report will be required in order for EUI to approve the Reimbursement Form. 

The follow-up report will be uploaded on the space for exchange for capacity building on Portico. This will allow other community members to view it, comment on it, post their suggestions or contact the application or peers to discuss further. Reports from city-to-city exchanges will be grouped by theme according to the thematic taxonomy and included within any thematically relevant EUI knowledge and capitalization activities. 

Six months after the exchange, the applicant is invited to evaluate lightly whether the input received brought about any tangible benefits e.g., improvements in the design and implementation of the SUD policy addressed or related projects, improvements in day-to-day working practices within the applicant institution and among stakeholders. A survey will be shared with the beneficiary to capture their opinion on the exchange overall, the improvement of their capacities, and the quality of the support from peers.

Additional information


Administration & Governance, Institutional Capacity & Cooperation, 
Agriculture & Forestry, Fishery, Food, Soil quality, 
Air Quality, Biodiversity & Environment, Climate & Climate Change, Water quality & management, 
Arts & Culture, Cultural Heritage, Tourism, 
Circular Economy, Natural Resources, 
Competitiveness of Enterprises, Employment/Labour Market, SME & entrepreneurship, 
Demographic Change, European Citizenship, Migration, 
Digitalisation, Digital Society, ICT, 
Disaster Prevention, Resilience, Risk Management, 
Education & Training, Children & Youth, Media, 
Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy , 
Equal Rights, Human Rights, People with Disabilities, Social Inclusion, 
Health, Social Services, Sports, 
Justice, Safety & Security, 
Mobility & Transport, 
Rural & Urban Development/Planning

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

max 3.5 years

Additional Information

Financial support is offered to city-to-city exchange participants. The financial support is provided under the form of lump sums and is paid directly to each participating city (applicant city and peers). The expenses covered are staff costs (only for the peers), travel costs and per diem (accommodation and subsistence). For more information, please consult pages 14-15 of the Call Document


European Urban Initiative (EUI) Permanent Secretariat
+33 (0)3 61 76 59 34

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