As recalled above, the European Urban Initiative is established as one of the tools supporting the implementation of the Urban Agenda for the EU – a key vehicle for the implementation of the New Leipzig Charter.
In order to achieve meaningful and measurable results at local level, one of the central aims of the Urban Agenda for the EU is to better target the funds, initiatives and efforts of the European Commission towards those urban challenges that local authorities and inhabitants feel are most pressing. EUI-IA, as previously Urban Innovative Actions Initiative, will continue to contributing to this operational aim of the Urban Agenda for the EU.
In continuity with the Urban Innovative Actions approach, EUI-IA Calls for Proposals will be organised on topics defined by the Commission building on the New Leipzig Charter and on Commission’s priorities presenting a cross-sectorial dimension, such as the green and digital transitions.
The early announcement of these topics and their coherence with Charter’s thematic pointers (green, just, productive cities) and principles of good urban governance that are of direct relevance for Cohesion policy objective for ‘a Europe closer to citizens’ (place-based, integrated, participatory approaches) will enhance the predictability for applicants around core objectives to be achieved Call after Call by the EUI-IA. The selection procedure is tuned at identifying projects best suited to achieve these core objectives (see Chapter 3.2.2 “Strategic Assessment” for more details regarding the relevant selection criteria).
In order to raise the readability of EUI-IA projects with regard to Cohesion policy and facilitate their subsequent upscale and/or replication with ERDF funding, Calls for Proposals will also specify the Cohesion policy objective(s) or specific objective(s), as appropriate, targeted by each topic within each Call. Applicants will have to pay a particular attention to demonstrate the Cohesion policy relevance of solutions they propose to test in the light of the policy objectives or specific objectives announced in the Calls (see criterion ‘innovativeness and relevance’ in the Chapter 3.2.2 “Strategic Assessment”). A list of indicators (i.e. to be used and monitored together with other indicators that Project Partners will set for themselves) will also be defined in the Calls to facilitate the understanding of desired effects at project level, and aggregating results at policy area and/or Initiative’s level.
Each EUI-IA Call for Proposals will focus on certain topic(s) which will be defined by the European Commission. They will be announced on the websites of DG Regional and Urban Policy and of the EUI. They will be described in the Terms of Reference of each European Urban Initiative Call for Proposals. The topics will be closely linked to the Urban Agenda and its Partnerships.
Urban authorities submitting an Application Form in the framework of the EUI-IA Call for Proposals shall select only one of the topics described in the Terms of Reference of the Call. However, in section C of the Application Form, a specific question is dedicated to the integrated approach proposed. This is where urban authorities can describe links and externalities with other topics and policy fields.
Applicants should bear in mind that during the selection and implementation of project proposals, the complementarity and synergies with other EU funding programmes and policies, as well as supported projects, is of utmost importance. The EUI-IA Selection Committee will seek to avoid any duplication when deciding on which projects to support.
Are cities from other regions than the 82 identified by the European Commission in its communication on Harnessing Talents eligible?
Applicants must demonstrate that their city is affected by the combination of demographic challenges and difficulties to attract, retain or develop the talents, skills and qualifications needed to mitigate this impact, as referred to in the Communication on Harnessing Talent in Europe’s Regions whether or not pertaining to the listed NUTS-2 regions.
Not being located in one of the 82 regions listed in the Communication is not excluding other cities from applying for EUI-IA Call 2 funding. However, it is of key importance to demonstrate, in the Application Form, being affected by adverse demographic changes of the same nature than those flagged in the Communication (declining workforce, tertiary education and/or young population). This is fully admissible bearing in mind that the level of granularity of the analysis supporting the Communication allows to define trends at NUTS2-3 and not necessarily at city level.
In the same logic, although it should be easier for them, cities from regions listed in the communication are not exempted from making similar demonstrations in their AFs of being affected by the demographic challenges identified for their regions.