No, all Project Partners, including Urban Authorities, Delivery Partners and Transfer Partners must be located within the European Union.
The MUA holds the responsibility for the identification and selection of the Transfer Partners that will integrate the Partnership. Transfer Partners interested in replicating the project solution in their local context must be identified from different EU Member States. When selecting Transfer Partners, a balance with less developed or transition regions, and cities of different sizes must be ensured. There is no specific need for an open call procedure at EU-level to select Transfer Partners. To identify relevant Transfer Partners, you can use your existing networks from previous EU-funded projects or others transnational cooperations. You can also use the EUI Transfer Partners Platform to identify Urban Authorities who have expressed their interest to participate as Transfer Partner or share your project idea: https://www.transferpartners.urban-initiative.eu/en
A map showing the categories of regions is available here: https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/graph/poster2021/eu27.pdf. It can also be downloaded on this page: https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/information-sources/maps_en > EU Regional Funding 2021-2027 > Maps of categories of regions (EU-27). Moreover, the official list of regions eligible to ERDF is published in the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/1130 of 5 July 2021 (less developed, annex I; in transition annex II : https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2021.244.01.0010.01.ENG).
Both types are considered as Project Partners, have an active role and responsibilities in the project and a dedicated budget. Nevertheless, both are not identified nor formally part to the Partnership Agreement at the same stage: Delivery Partners must be identified in the Application Form and sign the Partnership Agreement during the Initiation Phase, while Transfer Partners shall be formally identified at the latest during the Initiation Phase and sign the Partnership Agreement at the latest 12 months after the start of the Implementation phase. Project Partners are actively involved in the overall project implementation, while the active involvement of the Transfer Partners is limited to the Transfer Work Package. Finally, Transfer Partners budget is automatically covered by a lump sum of EUR 150 000.
No, this is not compulsory. At the application stage, the proposal is rather expected to:
(a) elaborate on how the most suitable Transfer Partners will be selected, identifying other European urban areas that could benefit from replicating the proposed solution in view of the favourable conditions for transfer (similar contexts, characteristics) or of increasing their innovation potential. If Transfer Partners have already been identified, the proposal should specify these together with the underlying motivations and rationale.
(b) identify which main outputs/elements of the proposed solution can be transferred or replicated in other urban areas across the EU. It should specify basic conditions (e.g. regulatory, technical) and resources (e.g. human, financial) that potential Transfer Partners should have in common to adapt and/or replicate, in full or partially the innovative solution in another contexts in the EU.
If the project is approved, Transfer Partners will have to be identified during the Initiation Phase.
Nothing precludes an Urban Authority to apply as a Main Urban Authority or Associated Urban Authority in a EUI-Project, while it is identified as a Transfer Partner in another proposal. However, an Urban Authority can only receive funding once in the framework of a call for proposals. Therefore, should the project proposal be approved, the Main Urban Authority leading the project (or the Associated Urban Authority involved in the project), cannot be identified as Transfer Partner in another project of the same call for proposals.
When identifying Transfer Partners, the MUA must make sure of their interest and commitment to deliver project transfer activities. However, should a Transfer Partners formally identified during the Initiation Phase (e.g., letter of intent) drop out before signing the Partnership Agreement, this Transfer Partner will not be entitled to claim its transfer lump sum, and the MUA should rapidly inform the EUI PS and look for a new Transfer Partner.