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Call for Peer Reviews
EUI – Capacity Building

The call for EUI Peer Reviews opens on 12 March and closes on 30 April at 12:00 CEST.

A Peer Review is a capacity building activity offered by EUI to support European cities to improve the design and implementation of their Sustainable Urban Development (SUD) strategies, through a process of benchmarking and peer learning.

Each Peer Review involves one ‘city under review’ (primary beneficiary), working with individuals from up to six cities acting as ‘peer reviewers’ (secondary beneficiaries) to address a challenge in developing, implementing or monitoring an effective SUD strategy.

‘Cities under review’ identify the challenge that they wish to address according to their specific needs and are matched with ‘peer reviewers’ who can share their experiences, approaches and ideas in addressing the same challenge.

Applicants to this call may apply to be a City under Review and / or a Peer Reviewer.  

What is a Peer Review?

Each Peer Review follows a five-step implementation process. Selected participants will: 

  1. Confirm the scope of the Peer Review: with the support of EUI, each selected city under review details the challenges they wish to address in the Peer Review in the form of three questions. Location and dates are defined by EUI.
  2. Get matched with a city under review or peer reviewers: EUI groups cities under review with peer reviewers according to relevant expertise and similarities in context. Each Peer Review ‘group’ is finalised.
  3. Prepare for the Peer Review event: participants prepare the core of the discussions for the event and attend three to two preparation meetings.
  4. Participate in the two-day Peer Review event: the activity culminates in the Peer Review event. Participants attend workshops, panel discussions, study visits and informal networking.
  5. Follow-up on the outcomes of the event: cities under review and peer reviewers receive a report on the main recommendations from the Peer Review event and on how to integrate them. Six months after the event, all participants are invited to an online discussion for an update on the city under review’s strategy.

What are the topics addressed?

An EUI Peer Review is required to focus on specific challenges related to the design and implementation of SUD strategies. Each city under review is tasked with identifying the challenge they want to tackle and formulating it into three ‘guiding questions’ to be addressed in turn.

The challenges tackled should align with the key elements of integrated approaches to sustainable urban development identified under EU Cohesion Policy – as outlined briefly in the ERDF Common Provisions Regulation[1]

The European Commission Joint Research Centre’s handbook for Sustainable Urban Development Strategies[2] is a key reference material for cities to identify relevant topics that need to be addressed.

Still not sure what a Peer Review actually is? Check our past Peer Reviews in Thessaloniki, Coimbra and Kalisz.


Why participate as a peer?

What’s in it for cities under review?

At the heart of the EUI Peer Review activity are the cities under review. Cities under review benefit from:

  1. A structured self-assessment process to help identify specific needs in developing, implementing or monitoring their SUD strategy.
  2. Specific, tailored feedback, reflections, and inspiration from their peers to directly address a challenge they are facing related to their SUD strategy.
  3. Constant expert support, guidance and advice from the team of approved EUI experts and the EUI Secretariat.

Check the testimonies from past cities under review.


What’s in it for peer reviewers?

While the primary focus of each peer review activity is the city under review, peer reviewers – and the cities they represent – also benefit in multiple ways:

  1. Peer reviewers learn from, as well as inspire, the city under review – the learning always goes two ways.
  2. There are also opportunities to learn from the other peer reviewers taking part, hearing about a range of inspiring practices and approaches from cities across Europe.
  3. Finally, through the process of sharing their own approaches and practices, peer reviewers are encouraged to critically reflect on their own successes and remaining challenges.

Check the testimonies from past peer reviewers.


Eligible authorities

Cities under review

The primary beneficiary of a Peer Review must be a city eligible to receive ERDF support for the development and implementation of its sustainable urban development (SUD) strategy under Article 11 of the ERDF Regulation – known as ‘Article 11 cities’.

This is because – as an instrument of EU Cohesion Policy – EUI prioritises the achievement of EU Cohesion Policy objectives and maximising the impact of EU funding support.

Note: It is the relevant ERDF Managing Authority – at national or regional level – in each country that defines its Article 11 cities. Check out the current list of Article 11 cities for the period 2021-2027.

Peer reviewers

Peer reviewers apply as individuals to take part in a peer review process. However, it is the urban authority that they represent which is the formal beneficiary of the financial support available. Peer reviewers can represent any EU urban authority but must have relevant experience in the design and implementation of integrated, place-based strategies.

Call timeline

Opening of the call
Mar 2024
Online info session
Apr 2024
Closure of the call
Apr 2024
Selection of applicants
May 2024
Date and location for Peer Reviews events
May 2024
Composition of Peer Review groups
Jun 2024
1. Opening of the call
12 Mar - 30 Apr 2024

The third call for peer reviews will open on 12 March 2024. Applicants are invited to fill in the Application Form hosted on EU survey.

While the call is open, potential applicants can book bilateral online consultations with the EUI Secretariat to get more information and advice about the call.

2. Online info session

 Register here

3. Closure of the call

The third call for Peer Reviews closes on 30 April 2024 at 12:00 CEST.

4. Selection of applicants

Indicative and earliest date for results of the Call. All applicants (whether approved or rejected) will be notified of the results around three weeks after the call closes - depending to some extent on the number of applications received.

5. Date and location for Peer Reviews events

Confirmation of date and location (hosts) for peer review events and start of content preparation for cities under review.

6. Composition of Peer Review groups

Confirmation of the composition of all peer review groups (city under review + peer reviewers) based on completion of the matchmaking exercise and the agreement of participants.

Get support

The EUI Permanent Secretariat supports applicants. This support is provided via:

Apply for the Call

The submission of the Application Form is 100% paperless and is done via EU Survey.

We strongly invite you to create your application form early in the process. Going through its different sections and reading the information bubbles in each field will help you to submit a better application.

The deadline for the submission of the Application Form is 30 April 2024, 12:00 CET.

Apply here!
Apply here

[1] Article 29 of Regulation (EU) 2021/1060 laying down common provisions for the ERDF [and other ESIF funds], outlines the elements that must be covered by any territorial strategy supported with EU Funds.

[2] The Handbook for Sustainable Urban Development Strategies produced by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission was based on a mixed-methods analysis of 964 SUD strategies implemented across 28 EU countries during the 2014-2020 programming period. Quantitative data was collected using STRAT-Board, which is both a database and an online mapping tool.