The following authorities may apply for support to undertake the EUI-IA:
First category: Any urban authority of a local administrative unit defined according to the degree of urbanisation (DEGURBA) of Eurostat as city, town or suburb (corresponding to DEGURBA code 1 or DEGURBA code 2 of Eurostat) comprising at least 50 000 inhabitants.
Second category: 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) and where the total combined population is at least 50 000 inhabitants.
Third category: An association or grouping of urban authorities without legal status of organised agglomerations where all the urban authorities involved (Main Urban Authority – hereinafter: MUA, and Associated Urban Authorities – hereinafter: AUA) are 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) and where the total combined population (MUA and AUA) is at least 50 000 inhabitants.
Only eligible urban authorities as defined above can submit an Application Form in the framework of EUI-IA Call for Proposals.
The definition of Local Administrative Units as well the classification according to the degree of urbanisation and the figures on the number of inhabitants are based on information provided in the EUI-IA Correspondence table (“Correspondence table LAU – NUTS 2021, EU-27 and EFTA / available Candidate Countries. Year 2021”). This table will be used as the main reference document for the Eligibility Check. Applicants are invited to refer to Correspondence table to verify their eligibility and provide information on the Local Administrative Units included in their administrative borders and the figures concerning the number of inhabitants. Carrying out an eligibility self-assessment (based on the abovementioned Correspondence table) before filling in the Application Form is strongly recommended. In case of gaps, inconsistencies or doubts concerning the interpretation of the data included in the Correspondence table, applicants are advised to contact the Permanent Secretariat before filling in and submitting the Application Form. During the selection procedure the Permanent Secretariat will perform its Eligibility Check exclusively on the basis of the information filled in the Application Form. In cases where the applicant's status as eligible candidate is uncertain, the Permanent Secretariat will liaise with all relevant partners, including Eurostat, to determine the eligibility. It is expected that, over the duration of the Initiative, Eurostat will publish updated versions of the Correspondence table. In case an updated version will be used by the Permanent Secretariat as main reference for the Eligibility Check, the information will be duly communicated in the specific Terms of Reference of the Call for Proposals and on the EUI website. Additional detailed information on the eligibility of urban authorities is provided in the following sections.
 Applying the Degree of Urbanisation. A methodological manual to define cities, towns and rural areas for international comparisons. 2021 edition: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/3859598/12519999/KS-02-20-499-EN-N.pdf/0d412b58-046f-750b-0f48-7134f1a3a4c2?t=1615477801160
 Definition of Local Administrative Units and degree of urbanisation are available here:
 EUI-IA Correspondence table (“Correspondence table LAU – NUTS 2021, EU-27 and EFTA / available Candidate Countries. Year 2021”) can be downloaded from the respective Call for Proposals page on the EUI website.
1.5.1 First category
- Municipality/city councils/districts whose administrative borders correspond to a single Local Administrative Unit. In this case the Local Administrative Unit shall be classified as city, town and suburbs according to the degree of urbanisation (code 1 and/or 2 in the Correspondence table – column Degree of Urbanisation) and have at least 50 000 inhabitants.
- Municipality/city councils whose administrative borders include several Local Administrative Units. This is the case for municipalities/city councils in Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Malta and Latvia where the Eurostat definition of Local Administrative Unit does not correspond to municipalities/city councils but to infra-municipal units (parishes) or statistical units (electoral wards). In this case the municipality/city council can be eligible only if it has a total of 50 000 inhabitants and if the majority (at least 51% of the inhabitants) live in Local Administrative Units classified as cities, towns or suburbs according to the degree of urbanisation (code 1 and/or 2 in the Correspondence table – column Degree of Urbanisation).
1.5.2 Second category
Organised agglomerations which are an association/grouping of urban authorities fulfilling the following criteria:
- To be officially recognised as a tier of local government (different from the regional and provincial level) by national law with the obligation for municipality/city councils to join the supra-municipal organisation (therefore in this category are not included associations that are composed on a voluntary basis, for a specific purpose and/or with a limited duration).
- To be composed only by municipality/city councils (therefore in this category are not included associations involving other institutions such as universities, chambers of commerce, etc.).
- To have specific competences, fixed by national law, delegated by the municipalities involved for policy areas relevant for the EUI-IA project. Associations are invited to provide precise reference to the national legal framework. Organised agglomerations shall have exclusive competences for the design and implementation in policy areas relevant for the EUI-IA project.
- To have a specific political (with indirect representation of the municipalities involved) and administrative (dedicated staff) structure.
Examples of eligible organised agglomerations in the framework of the EUI-IA are:
- France: Métropoles, Communautés Urbaines, Communautés d’Agglomération, Etablissements Publics Territoriaux (EPT) and Communautés de Communes.
- Italy: Città Metropolitane and Unione di Comuni only. Please note that Consorzi, Gruppi di Azione Locale (GAL), Convenzione dei Comuni or any other organised agglomeration that are not considered local authorities by the Italian national legislation (Testo Unico degli Enti Locali) are not eligible.
- Germany: Landkreis.
- Spain: Mancomunidades and Area Metropolitana Barcelona. Please note that “Diputaciones provinciales” (provincial governments) are considered as provincial bodies and therefore they are not recognized as eligible organised agglomerations.
- Portugal: Comunidades Intermunicipais (CIMs).
European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) whose partnerships are composed only of urban authorities (as defined above) and with specific competencies for policy design and implementation relevant for the EUI-IA Call are considered as organised agglomerations and therefore they can apply in the framework of EUI-IA Calls for Proposals as MUA or AUA. EGTCs whose partnerships include other organisations (e.g.: Member States, regional authorities, associations, universities, etc.) are not considered as organised agglomerations and cannot apply as MUA or AUA but they can join as Delivery Partners in a proposal submitted by an eligible urban authority.
In the framework of the EUI-IA, organised agglomerations are considered as a single urban authority representing all the municipality/city councils involved. For this reason, in a project proposal submitted by an organised agglomeration, this shall be indicated as a MUA. To verify the eligibility of organised agglomerations, the Permanent Secretariat will check that the total number of inhabitants is at least 50 000 and that the majority (at least 51% of inhabitants) live in Local Administrative Units involved in the agglomeration that are classified as cities, towns or suburbs according to the degree of urbanisation.
1.5.3 Third category
Any association of urban authorities (national/regional associations of urban authorities, territorial pacts, development districts, etc.) as well as individual urban authorities without formalised cooperation agreements but willing to jointly apply, can apply identifying a MUA among the municipalities/city councils involved and list the others as AUA.
To be eligible, all urban authorities involved (MUA and AUA) shall be recognised as Local Administrative Units and be classified as cities, towns or suburbs according to the degree of urbanisation of Eurostat (DEGURBA code 1 or DEGURBA code 2). In case of urban authorities whose administrative borders include more than one Local Administrative Unit, the same rules for the definition of the degree of urbanisation described under section 1.5.1 of the present section apply. The relationship between the MUA and the AUA does not need to be formalised at the time of submitting the Application Form. In case the proposal is approved and supported, the relationship will have to be formalized in a form of the Partnership Agreement (for more details on the roles and responsibilities of all the Project Partners please refer to the Chapter 2.1 “Partnership for the European Urban Initiative – Innovative Actions”).
Previous experiences show that single projects delivered by associations or grouping of cities without a status of organised agglomeration, comprising more than 3 urban authorities (MUA and AUA) without territorial contiguity, risk losing coherence and having difficulties in delivering meaningful results. As such, it is recommended that associations and/or groupings of urban authorities (without a status of organised agglomerations) who wish to apply should be territorially contiguous and seek to limit the number of AUA involved.
 Template of the Partnership Agreement can be found on the EUI website together with other documents for the applicants.
In addition to the principles outlined above for each specific category of eligible urban authorities, the following principles apply to all eligible urban authorities in the framework of the EUI-IA:
- All urban authorities shall be located in an EU Member State.
- Only eligible urban authorities as defined above may submit an Application Form in the framework of the EUI-IA Call for Proposals. An Application Form submitted by a Delivery Partner will be declared ineligible.
- Urban authorities (as defined above) can be listed in a project proposal only as MUA and/or AUA. The category of Delivery Partners is reserved only to institutions and/or organisations that are not recognised as urban authorities in the framework of the EUI-IA.
- If innovative solutions require an urban-rural interface or functional area approach, it is possible to include Local Administrative Units defined as rural according to their degree of urbanization (DEGURBA code 3 of Eurostat) as Delivery Partners. Please note that their number of inhabitants does not count to reach the minimum eligibility threshold of 50 000. The reason for including Local Administrative Units defined as rural must be clearly presented and justified in the Application Form.
- An urban authority or an organised agglomeration can be involved in only one project proposal in the framework of each Call for Proposals (even if these project proposals are submitted under different topics in the same Call for Proposals). The rule applies also to the AUA (a municipality can be involved in only one project proposal whether it is as a MUA or as an AUA).
- Urban authorities already supported in an approved project by the EUI-IA in the framework of a previous Call for Proposals cannot submit a new Application Form on the same topic over the entire duration of the Initiative.
- Urban authorities must comply with the requirements on exclusion from access to funding (see Chapter 3.3 “Exclusion criteria for grant applicants”).
Agencies and companies (e.g.: in the field of energy/waste management, economic development, touristic promotion, etc.) fully or partially owned by the municipality/city council are not considered as Local Administrative Units and therefore cannot be recognised as eligible urban authorities. Nevertheless, these organisations can be involved in the Partnership as Delivery Partners (more details on the roles and responsibilities of Delivery Partners are provided in the Chapter 2.1.2 ”Typology of the European Urban Initiative – Innovative Actions Partners”).
Only an eligible Urban Authority established in EU Member States can submit a proposal for an EUI-Project. To verify your eligibility and check the possibility of your Urban Authority or grouping of Urban Authorities to participate in an EUI-IA project, you first need to check whether you fit into one of three categories of authorities entitled to apply: here.
Then, you need to check that the 3 eligibility conditions are fulfilled by your Urban Authority or grouping of Urban Authorities: (1) be recognized as a Local Administrative Unit (or grouping of Local Administrative Units); (2) comprise at least EUR 50 000 inhabitants; and (3) demonstrate a sufficient degree of urbanization (be considered as a city, town or suburb, corresponding to DEGURBA code of 1 or 2, according to Eurostat classification). All relevant data can be checked in the following Eurostat Correspondence table: https://www.urban-initiative.eu/sites/default/files/2022-10/EUI-IA_Call1_Correspondence_table.xlsx. This table is the main reference document for the Eligibility check, and will help you checking whether your Urban Authority is considered a local administrative unit, has a population above 50,000, and has a DEGURBA code of 1 or 2 (refer to urban areas) or code 3 (refers to rural areas). In some cases, a more complex calculation might be needed (e.g., for groupings of Urban Authorities with the legal status of organised agglomeration where at least 51% of inhabitants must live in Local Administrative Units classified with a DEGURBA code 1 or DEGURBA code 2 to be eligible).
No, only an eligible Urban Authority can submit a proposal for an EUI-Project.
Ministries or regional authorities (e.g. provinces, county council) cannot be considered as an eligible Urban Authority in the framework of Innovative Actions and thus cannot submit an application on their own – only a municipality/organised agglomeration can. National ministries or regional authorities cannot therefore be considered as eligible Transfer Partner either. However, they can be involved as Delivery Partner and have a dedicated budget and be involved in the implementation of the different activities/work packages. They can also be involved as wider stakeholders.
A municipal department (e.g. local police department), municipal institution (e.g. education board), municipal agency (e.g. local development agency), municipal company (e.g. in the field of energy/ waste/economic development/tourism) or similar organisations partially or fully owned by the municipality cannot be considered as an Urban Authority according to EUI-IA rules. In all cases, the Municipality has to be involved and is the only organisation that can submit the project proposal. However, there are three possible ways for these organisations to be involved in the project:
- the Municipality is involved as Main Urban Authority and the organisation will be considered as a standalone Delivery Partner having a formal role and dedicated budget, provided the organisation has its own legal personality.
- the Municipality is involved as Main Urban Authority and the organisation is considered as ‘in-house contractor’ of the Municipality. Therefore, the related costs will be budgeted as “external expertise and services” of the Main Urban Authority. The organisation will not be listed as Delivery Partner, provided the budget of the organisation in the project is limited to 50% of the budget of the Main Urban Authority. For more information about this option and the criteria which define in-house contracting, please carefully read the dedicated section of the EUI-IA Guidance.
- the organisation is involved as part of the wider group of stakeholders, which implies that it has no formal role in the project, therefore no dedicated budget and responsibility to implement activities.