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Empowering Supporting Structures of the Covenant of MAYORS to assist Local Authorities IN implementing and monitoring their Sustainable Energy ACTION Plan (MAYORS IN ACTION)

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Over 7200 municipalities representing more than 228 million inhabitants have signed Europe’s Covenant of Mayors (CoM) for Climate & Energy as of February 2017. They have chosen to commit to the development of their cities through the creation and implementation of their own Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP). However, to develop their SEAPs, Local Government (LG) staff needs appropriate support and training to achieve such objectives. MAYORS IN ACTION, a European project co-funded by Intelligent Energy Europe until February 2017, empowered designated Coordinators and Supporters (C&S) of the CoM in effectively assisting their municipalities in implementing and monitoring their SEAPs. C&S not only play a key role in giving technical and financial support to municipalities, but they have also been successful in enabling most of them to develop their SEAPs and overcome existing barriers. Through tutoring and coaching schemes, MAYORS IN ACTION allowed the C&S and municipalities to go even further, enabling them to implement actions, by employing existing tools and adapting others’ experiences to different environments, as well as helping them to support one another towards a common goal.


  1. Extensive collection of training, tutoring&coaching schemes, with the following tangible results: (i) the MAYORS in ACTION Handbook in the different local languages including more than 30 best practices and a selection of tools; (ii) high quality training materials online (iii) open training seminars for LGs; open training national sessions for C&S and LGs.
  2. 24 C&Ss tutored for SEAPs implementation & monitoring and many more involved in training activities, with the following tangible results: (i) more than 16 supporting structures coached; (ii) more than 48 training sessions and over 160 quarterly tutoring sessions both for implementation and monitoring of actions; (iii) 3 two-days centralised training sessions and (iv) the set-up of a peer review scheme for C&S (meetings, and over web conferences between tutoring C&S and trainees).
  3. Over 60 municipalities (in 6 EU countries) coached, trained and supported for SEAP implementation & monitoring, with an extensive list of training and coaching sessions (over 260 events) about SEAP actions, selection of funding sources, business plans, procurement procedures. Over 27 open training sessions at national level for LGs external to the project on the same topics.
  4. More than 150 SEAP actions selected and activated, with over 40 LGs implementing around 156 feasible actions. In this context, different financial opportunities have been identified and specific business plans have been developed for each action.
  5. Tools & indicators to monitor SEAP actions. Successful knowledge exchange and transfer among the partners in order to identify and use effective indicators to monitor specific actions. Different training sessions on monitoring (more than 64). Reports of monitoring collected from the partners.

Lessons learned

  • C&S have a crucial role in SEAP development and their support brings significant added-value to the table when striving for common solutions and cooperation. These benefits are amplified for small or medium-sized municipalities which often have limited capacities/resources and fragmentary jurisdictions. The engagement of citizens and LGs is a key point for the success of SEAPs implementation.
  • Finding appropriate financial support for SEAPs is one of the most challenging steps. Many municipalities still lack awareness of alternative financing schemes: it is necessary to promote more pilot projects which utilise innovative financing solutions that have been proved successful in practice. To this end, viable business and investment plans (like those developed within the project) can provide valuable guidance.
  • It is important to keep in mind common obstacles to prepare LGs to face them appropriately. For example, lack of coherent national energy/climate policies may still impede local action, despite the best intentions of bottom-up approaches like SEAPs. Another common barrier is that the majority of energy and climate problems are not even under the direct control of municipalities. A final issue negatively impacting the goals is lack of human and financial resources for SEAPs, especially among smaller cities. Networking locally and at EU level is a key factor for LGs and C&S, opening to new possibilities for practicing and experiencing.

Partners and coordinator

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Città Metropolitana di Genova
Contact point: 
BRIZI Fausto
+39 010 5499472
+39 010 5499435


In brief

01/03/2014 to 28/02/2017
Contract number: 

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