International Urban Cooperation (IUC)

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    This call is for EU regions interested in the development of cooperation opportunities with the Brazilian States of Paraná, Pernambuco and Pará. You could register your expression of interest until the 15th of June 2018 (midnight). 

    The EU awarded regions will be visited by the 3 Brazilian counterparts on purpose to promote their best practices on innovation themes or sectors of common interest. Through the entire project, an on-line platform will allow participants to exchange knowledge on the selected areas. On a later stage of the exchange of experiences two experts from each of the selected EU regions will take part in a conference in Brazil involving the three states and the Federal government. The costs related to the participation of European experts will be covered by the project.

    INNOV-AL Platform is a EU funded project for the promotion of decentralised innovation policies and cooperation in territorial cohesion. The project is supported by the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission (DG REGIO). The objective is to support the dissemination of the EU regional policy experience and good practices and to develop further cooperation between national and regional authorities and specialised agencies in the three Brazilian States as well as between Brazilian partners and EU regions on the implementation of decentralised, regional-level innovation and smart specialisation policies. Participating regions could have the possibility to conclude cooperation agreements or alternatively engage directly in concrete cooperation activities identified through the networking and knowledge exchange process. Please check the call overview here ( to read more about this project and check out the short description of the three Braizlian States open for pairing and cooperation.

    President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday 6 October 2017. The occasion was the 14th EU-India Summit, also marking the 55th anniversary since the establishment of EU-India diplomatic relations. Read the Press release.

    EU-India leaders also adopted Joint Declarations on specific issues including one which creates a new EU-India "partnership for smart and sustainable urbanisation".

    Under the terms of this Declaration, the EU institutions and the Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs in India will work together on a number of issues and projects designed to promote knowledge sharing and exchange of experience on urban policy issues, in line with the New Urban Agenda of the United Nations where the EU and India were among the 170 signatories.  A joint EU-India work programme on urban themes will be developed over the coming months.    

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Sustainable and innovative cities and regions – 2016/2019

Connecting cities and ideas for better urban living

Cities are growing and changing so fast that many authorities are struggling to cope. More people can mean more economic activity and wealth, but it can also mean added strain on energy, water, health, transport and housing facilities. All this, in turn, puts pressure on the environment, and more widely on climate change.

This is why the European Union is launching a three-year programme to promote international urban cooperation. Europe’s cities want to link up, build and share knowledge and solutions with other cities and regions.

In this first phase of a long-term strategy of fostering urban diplomacy – a vehicle of EU external relations – the IUC boosts sectoral, transversal and international urban cooperation and exchange with key city partners (public and private) in Asia and the Americas (box). With a budget of over EUR 20 million, IUC activities support Habitat III goals as well as the Paris COP 21 declaration and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The IUC will build on existing cooperation through:

  • City-to-city cooperation on sustainable urban development
  • Sub-national action under the Global Covenant of Mayors initiative
  • Inter-regional cooperation on innovation for local and regional development

Target countries include China, India, Japan, Canada, Mexico, USA, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru. For the Covenant initiative, South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)  are included.

City-to-city cooperation on sustainable urban development

Building on the success of the World Cities project and drawing on the solid approach of the EU-funded URBACT network, city pairs will be supported in their efforts to design, implement and manage sustainable urban practices in an integrated and participative way. Local action plans will be developed through an inclusive multi-stakeholder process and include specific activities and economically viable pilot projects to be implemented in the short term in order to ensure results and open up market opportunities. These plans will help drive thematic clustering of knowledge, exchange and best practices among cities facing similar challenges.

Sub-national action under the Global Covenant of Mayors initiative

Cities and other sub-national authorities will be encouraged to join a global initiative to tackle climate change challenges focused on mitigation, adaptation and universal access to energy, in line with the principles of the EU Covenant of Mayors. Support on methodologies, governance, training and capacity building will be provided, as well as technical assistance to encourage implementation of ambitious climate commitments. A powerful knowledge-sharing element will spur inter-city cooperation, learning and innovation.

Inter-regional cooperation on innovation for local and regional development

Support will focus on ways to improve and internationalise regional innovation and cooperation in and between the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean. The programme will stimulate the development or strengthening of regional strategies involving SMEs in the innovation sector, and it will promote international value chains.  It will collect and share experience, good practice and lessons learnt to enable knowledge management and development.  The Smart Specialisation (S3) platform established by the European Commission will act as a multiplier to further promote knowledge sharing inside the EU as well.

Tackling the funding gap

To address a recognised barrier for progress on urban development, the IUC programme will engage with major international financial institutions and partners to link city decision-makers with potential funders. EU business will be an important partner for activities under the components on sustainable urban development.


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