Information session and Call for Proposals – CEF Transport MAP

The European Commission launched a call for proposals for the 2020 CEF Transport MAP on 15 December 2020. With a total budget of €200 million, the call will co-finance projects which address missing-links and cross-border connections along the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). Its focus is to address actions that remove transportation bottlenecks, enhances rail connections, bridge transport missing links and improving cross-border segments.

The general objective of the call is to support studies or projects that prepare the implementation of the TEN-T core network, addressing any necessary preparatory measures for the upcoming infrastructure works.

Virtual Information Day

A virtual information session is taking place on the 14th January 2021 at 10:00am CET / 9:00am GMT.

To register your attendance to stream the event, please follow instructions on this page:!Hg33th .


This call is limited to the pre-identified sections of the core TEN-T corridors, as defined in the annex to the CEF Regulation. The eligible modes of transportation included are railway, inland waterways, roads, maritime and inland ports.


All EU Member States are eligible, so long they satisfy the TEN-T Core condition. Project proposals should be submitted either by one or more Member State(s) or, with Member State approval, by a public or private entity.

Deadline for submissions: 22 March 2021 at 17:00 CET


More information about this call can be found on this page.

A call flyer also provides additional information.


Photo credit: EC – Audiovisual Service

European Commission Proposes Brexit Adjustment Reserve

On 26th December 2020, the European Commission put forward its proposal for a Brexit Adjustment Reserve. As the UK leaves the European Union there are, and will be, implications on businesses, economic sectors, workers, regions and local communities. The Reserve is set up to help mitigate the adverse consequences in Member States and sectors that are worst affected by Brexit. This special instrument will have a maximum resource of €5 billion in 2018 prices and will be separate from the EU Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.


This proposed special fund is designed to exclusively deal with the adverse effects of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union in Member States, regions and sectors, in particular those that are worst affected by Brexit. It should be used on actions that mitigate the impact of Brexit on the economic, social and territorial cohesion.

Who is eligible?

All EU Member States are eligible for funding. The Reserve is designed to be rapid and flexible, and to concentrate on the regions and sectors worst affected by Brexit.

Funding allocation and Scope:

The maximum budget for the Reserve is €5 billion (in 2018 constant prices). The Commission proposes that the funds be allocated in 2 rounds: a larger portion (around €4,244 bn) will be allocated in 2021 as pre-financing; the remaining funds (around €1,126 bn) will be for additional contributions in 2024.

Pre-financing allocation is proposed to take into account two conditions:

  • Trade intensity – the importance of the Member State’s trade with the UK
  • Reliance on UK water for fisheries – the importance to the Member State of fisheries in the UK exclusive economic zone.

The period of eligibility for direct public expenditure runs for 30 months, from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2022. The Reserve will support expenditures that assist:

  • Businesses and local communities adversely affected by the withdrawal
  • Vulnerable economic sectors
  • Fishing communities
  • Employment and re-skilling
  • Functioning of the border, customs, sanitary, phytosanitary and security controls
  • Certification and authorisation regimes
  • Communications and awareness-raising for citizens and businesses.

Member States have to set up management and control systems and appoint bodies responsible for the management of the Reserve. The European Commission suggests that for simplification reasons, Member States could use bodies managing cohesion policy funding or the European Union Solidarity Fund. Member States will have to submit an implementation report by 30 September 2023 detailing the supported actions and expenditures paid during the eligibility timeframe, as well as present output indicators.

Next steps:

The proposal is subject to negotiations and will have to be adopted by the Parliament and the Council.

Further reading:

Click here to read the Brexit Adjustment Reserve proposal text and annexes.

Click here for a Q&A on the Brexit Adjustment Reserve proposal.

Featured image source: EC – Audiovisual Service

Call for Research Proposals under DAFM Competitive Research Funding Programme

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has launched a call to fund research projects under the updated Competitive Research Funding Programme. All eligible Research Performing Organisations are invited to submit proposals.

This first call under the new research funding approach is seeking projects across thematic areas including climate and biodiversity; sustainable animal and plant health and production; agri-digitalisation and the bioeconomy; and safe, healthy food production and processing.

The call supports key strategic drivers both nationally (such as the Agri-Food Strategy 2030) and internationally. The projects will contribute to achieving EU strategies, such as Farm to Fork, Biodiversity and Circular Economy strategies as well as the EU Green Deal.

Research results will be made available for the benefit of the agri-food and forestry sectors, the consumer and policymakers.

The Competitive Research Funding Programme

The new, updated Competitive Research Funding Programme brings together food, agriculture and forestry programmes into a single ‘public good’ programme.

It aims to drive knowledge and resilience in a just transition to a sustainable agri-food, forest and bio-based system as well as providing ecosystem services, delivering nutritious food and contributing to a sustainable circular bioeconomy. Additionally, this call will facilitate stakeholder engagement and build research capacity in such a way to position Irish researchers to successfully compete for funding opportunities under the Horizon Europe programme.



The deadline for proposal applications is 28 February 2021 at 13.00 and should be submitted online through the Research Online Portal.



Further details on this call can be found on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine page.

Image copyright: EC – Audiovisual Service

Pre-information on a LIFE2020 call for Proposals from NGOs on the European Green Deal

Image copyright: EC – Audiovisual Service

The European Green Deal is the EU growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, sustainable and competitive economy that leaves no one behind where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use. 

Amid the economic crisis provoked by the COVID-19 Pandemic, civil society as whole and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in particular are suffering a blow to their capacity to take actions and to contribute to the profound transformations needed to achieve a successful and just transition towards a sustainable future.

In the framework of the LIFE Programme, a special Call for Proposals for NGOs will be launched to reinforce the capacity of NGOs acting at Member States’ level to mobilise and strengthen civil society participation and contribution to the implementation of the European Green Deal.  With an indicative budget of 12 M€, action grants will be funded under this call for a maximum EU contribution of 300 000 € limited to 60% of total eligible projects costs. As far as possible, this call will seek to finance projects in all EU Member States.


The LIFE Programme expects proposals from non-profit making non-governmental organisations established in an EU member state and primarily active in the areas of environment and/or climate action.

Applicants will have to demonstrate a legal registration in the European Union prior to 01 January 2018 as well as the ability to operate at national level or, when established in larger countries, sub-national level across different regions. Partnerships will not be allowed and only one proposal per applicant will be taken in consideration. Beneficiaries of LIFE NGO Operating Grants will not be eligible to apply. Full details of the eligibility criteria will be listed in the call documents.

Expected submission deadlines

The expected deadlines for submission are Wednesday 31 March 2021 – 17:00 CET (Brussels). The call will open in mid-December.




Final WiFi4EU Call launches 4th June

Municipalities across the EU will have a final chance to apply for a voucher to fund the installation of free WIFI networks in their communities, starting 4th June 2020 at 13.00 CET, until 17.00 CET on 4th June 2020.

The opening date of the fourth and final call of the WiFi4EU initiative has been recently changed by the European Commission, accounting for COVID-19 pandemic. With a call budget of EUR 14.2 million, the Commission will distribute 947 vouchers a first come, first served basis to municipalities across Europe, allowing for geographical adjustments. The call will be open until 17:00 CET on 4th June 2020.

In order to be able to apply for the EUR 15,000 voucher, municipalities must be registered on the WIFi4EU Portal before the call. The voucher will allow the winning municipalities to set up free Wi-Fi networks in public spaces.

The first WiFi4EU call, which took place in November 2018, awarded 2,800 vouchers from more than 13,000 municipalities from every EU Member State, Norway and Iceland. The second call in April 2019 saw more than 10,000 applications for 3,400 vouchers. Last September, the third call distributed 1,780 vouchers in the first 2 seconds. Seeing the interest in the initiative and to ensure that all available vouchers are allocated, for this call there will be no maximum number of vouchers per participating country.

To know more about how the WiFi4EU initiative works, check out the WiFi4EU step by step guide and the FAQs.

Source: European Commission


Intelligent Cities Challenge – Applications Open


Building on the success of the Digital Cities Challenge, the European Commission launched the follow-up Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC). This programme will offer 100 cities across the EU the unique opportunity to join a community that leverages advanced technologies to tackle the ongoing pandemic and reconstruct their economies while steering them in the direction of green, smart, sustainable growth. Taking part in the challenge will help cities to improve their citizens’ quality of life and to create new opportunities for their business communities.


Selected cities will receive high-quality, tailored guidance and expert support, access to European and international advisory and city peer networks, and capability building tools, to drive priority policy goals and the uptake of advanced technologies.

Through its action-oriented and collaborative approach, the ICC will support cities to:

  • Identify local strengths and needs to setpriorities through performance assessments, the definition of strategic goals and the implementation roadmaps
  • Engage in long-termcollaborations to co-design and co-create approaches to digital transformation, such open data, city solutions and collective investments/procurements
  • Learn from and share experiences with local and international peers and mentors


Cities or city consortiums can apply by filling in the ICC Expression of Interest and submitting it to the ICC website by 29 May 2020 11:59 p.m. CET.

To find out more about the challenge and the application process, please consult the ICC Concept Note and Guide for Applicants.


Do you have a question about the ICC? Browse the FAQs or contact the helpdesk.
If you want to receive updates about the outcomes of the Intelligent Cities Challenge, please sign up for the newsletter.



Update – European Entrepreneurial Regions (EER) Award

The European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) award is an initiative of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) that identifies and rewards EU regions and cities with outstanding, future oriented entrepreneurial strategies. The territories with the most visible, forward-looking and promising political vision are granted the EER label for a specific year.

To date, thirty EU regions and cities have been awarded the EER label, including two Irish winners – the Northern and Western Region (2018) and Kerry County (2011).

EER Award reopened

This special edition of the EER aims to encourage EU regions and cities to develop strategies for boosting entrepreneurship and SMEs, taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The applications have been reopened and merged 2021 application process with the next one, extending the implementation of the EER label over two years – 2021 and 2022. The lead theme is Entrepreneurship and sustainable recovery and deadline for applications is 28 October 2020.

3231 EER label

The EER label helps regions and cities support SMEs and entrepreneurship by implementing the new EU SME Strategy at local and regional level, building on the continuity of the previous initiatives such as the Small Business Act (2009) and the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative (2016). The EER label is an opportunity for local and regional actors to demonstrate how SMEs and entrepreneurs can increase the resilience of their economy, embracing today’s challenges that will shape the world of tomorrow: demographic change, digitalisation and a transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy.

Further details on how to apply can be found here as well as on the EER page.



LIFE 2020 calls for proposals now open

The European Commission has launched its 2020 call for project proposals under the LIFE programme. Measures have also been taken to make it easier for interested parties to apply in times of coronavirus restrictions, including extended deadlines.

This year, the European Commission have earmarked more than €450 million for nature conservation, environmental protection and climate action projects.

What types of projects does LIFE fund?

LIFE funds projects under its environment and climate action sub-programmes, thereby helping implement the European Green Deal.

Most LIFE projects are so-called traditional projects that can be coordinated by any legal entity registered in the EU. These include public institutions, businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). A lot of traditional projects show best-practices, run pilots, raise public awareness or demonstrate breakthroughs in environmental practices.

Applications are also being accepted for bigger so-called integrated projects. These projects run strategic EU plans on the environment and the climate and tend to have a regional, multi-regional, national or trans-national dimension.

How to apply

Applying for traditional projects with a climate change focus involves submitting a full proposal by October 2020. This includes proposals for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects as well as climate governance and information initiatives.

For traditional projects that address environmental and nature themes, there is a two-stage application process: candidates first outline their idea in a concept note by July 2020. If your concept note is shortlisted, you will then have until February 2021 to submit a full project proposal. The two-stage process covers nature conservation and biodiversity, environment and resource efficiency, as well as environmental governance and information projects.

Applications for integrated projects also follow a two-stage process.

You can find more information on how to apply on the 2020 LIFE call for proposals page and join the LIFE virtual conference on 30th April, which will provide further insights on this call. 

Source: European Commission

MATCH-UP good practices handbook

The MATCH-UP Handbook of Good Practices to foster low carbon urban mobility

MATCH-UP focuses on the optimisation of the places where people change between low carbon transport modes – Walking/Cycling, Public Transport, Rail Transport and Green Vehicles.  This project aims to improve these interchanges at local level to improve public transport by learning from our Interregional partners.

The MATCH-UP Handbook outlines all the Interregional Good Practices identified through the MATCH-UP project including the following Good Practices from Ireland:

  • Cork Transport and Mobility Forum (TMF) – Cork City Council
  • Cycle and Ride Infrastructure associated with Luas Light Rail – Transport Infrastructure Ireland
  • Green-Schools Travel Programme – An Taisce
  • Local Link Rural Transport Programme – Waterford Local Link
  • Limerick Smarter Travel, Workplace Mobility Management – Limerick City Council

MATCH-UP, a four and a half-year, 5-partners project was approved for a grant of €0.9m by the Interreg Europe Programme  and commenced in July 2018 at a meeting in Bologna. The partnership consists of 4 European regions – Southern & Eastern Ireland, County of Northeim, Germany, Municipality of Funchal, Portugal and Timisoara Municipality, Romania who are working together to share experience, solutions, and good practice to develop and deliver better public policy to reduce carbon emissions and support low carbon urban mobility in designated urban centres.

MATCH-UP is part-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme through the European Regional Development Fund and led by the University of Bologna in Italy.

For more about the MATCH-UP project go to –


Southern Regional Assembly, Waterford, Ireland

Ms. Rose Power, EU Projects Officer,

Project Co-ordinator


Have your say – Peace Plus Stakeholder Events

PEACE PLUS is a new EU cross-border programme that will contribute to a more prosperous and stable society in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland.

The programme will achieve this by funding activities that promote peace and reconciliation, and contribute to the cross-border economic and territorial development of the region. It will build upon previous PEACE and INTERREG Programmes.

The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUBP) seeking your input to help shape the content of this programme.

A series of information events are taking place between December 2019 and February 2020, running from 6pm-8pm, with registration from 5.30pm.

The stakeholder engagement process will start on 10 December 2019 and end on 25 February 2020.

Date County Venue Register
Tue 10 December Donegal Jacksons Hotel, Ballybofey Click Here
Wed 8 January Leitrim Lough Rynn Castle, Mohill Click Here
Thu 9 January Sligo Sligo Park Hotel, Sligo Click Here
Mon 13 January Derry – Londonderry Lodge Hotel,


Click Here
Wed 15 January Monaghan Four Seasons Hotel, Monaghan Click Here
Thu 16 January Cavan Cavan Crystal Hotel, Cavan Click Here
Mon 20 January Derry – Londonderry Guildhall, Derry-Londonderry Click Here
Tue 21 January Tyrone Corrick House Hotel, Clogher Click Here
Thu 23 January Fermanagh Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen Click Here
Mon 27 January Down Burrendale Hotel, Newcastle Click Here
Thu 30 January Antrim Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena Click Here
Tue 4 February Armagh Armagh City Hotel, Armagh Click Here
Wed 5 February Antrim Belfast City Hall, Belfast Click Here
Thu 6 February Louth Ballymascanlon Hotel, Dundalk Click Here

Full documentation, including an online response form, is available below:

PEACE PLUS Stakeholder Engagement – Information Document

PEACE PLUS Stakeholder Engagement – Survey Questions: Guidance Document

Formal responses to the information events should be made using the link below. (Please note that there are designated word limits for each question, based on approximate word character averages).