URBACT Transfer Networks – Call for Pilot Projects

Use the URBACT Method to understand, adapt and re-use the Good Practices that were tested in the first round of Transfer Networks!

As the journey of the 23 Transfer Networks comes to an end, URBACT is launching a second wave of projects: a small number of Lead Partner cities will embark on a new transfer journey with a new set of partners.

This second wave of the Transfer Networks will allow more cities in Europe to adapt and reuse the Good Practice. The rich experience of the Good Practice city alongside the expert, who had led the original Transfer Network, will be an added value in this adventure. It is an exciting journey of discovery and sharing which will empower city stakeholders, change the way your city works and have a real impact at local level. All of this is achieved using a tried and tested URBACT method of exchange and learning with tools adapted to your needs and support from experts and peers.

What’s next?
Ireland’s National Urbact Point (NUP) will contact all the Transfer Network Lead Partners to explore opportunities for Irish cities to join this Second Wave.

Questions for the Irish NUP can be sent to mbrennan@emra.ie
General questions related to this call should be addressed to: tn@urbact.eu

Useful documents:
Terms of Reference – Transfer Networks – Second Wave – Application procedure
URBACT III Programme Manual
URBACT III Operational Programme

The deadline for the online submission is 29 April 2021 at 15.00 CET.

Public Consultation – Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan

A public consultation is now open to get input into Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan as part of the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. The EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility aims to help address the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring member states undertake green and digital transitions to boost sustainability and resilience. The Facility is part of the Next Generation EU/Recovery Plan Package agreed by the European Council in July 2020.

Ireland is expected to receive €853 million in grants under the EU Facility in 2021 and 2022, and another set of grants in 2023, depending on the economic developments to between now and then. In order to receive support from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, each member state needs to prepare a national plan for approval by the EU. The Irish government is therefore seeking stakeholder inputs to develop the Plan.

This national Plan must specify the reforms and public investments to be supported by the Facility and has to be submitted to the EU by 30 April 2021. The proposed actions in the Plan must align with EU flagship areas such as climate action and digital transitions, as well as address the challenges laid out in the country-specific recommendations received in 2019 and 2020.

Consultation questions

Parties interested in providing input into the National Recovery and Resilience Plan are invited to make written submissions. The contributions should address key questions related to:

  • what investment and reform areas Ireland should prioritise for inclusion in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan
  • which country-specific recommendations received in 2019 and 2020 Ireland should consider in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
Deadlines for submissions

Written consultation submissions are being accepted starting on 2nd February and will close at 17.00 on 22nd February 2021.

Submissions are to be emailed to nrrpconsultation@taoiseach.gov.ie and should indicate if you are a representative body, business, adviser, or member of the public.

Further information

Full details, including the list of country-specific recommendations, can be found by downloading the document:

Public Consultation on Ireland’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

More information is also available on this page.

More details available for Life2020 call to NGOs on European Green Deal

A virtual information session was held on the 12th January 2021 giving details on the LIFE2020 call for proposals for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on the European Green Deal (LIFE 2020 NGO4GD). This special call for proposals intended for NGOs was launched in December 2020 and aims to reinforce the capacity of NGOs in the European Union to mobilise and strengthen civil society participation and contribution to the implementation of the European Green Deal. The call recognises the economic crisis provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the blow this has had on the capacity of NGOs to taking actions and to contribute to a sustainable future.

More background details about this call’s aims can be found in this IREO post as well as the call announcement page.

Webinar details

Materials from the NGO4GD webinar are now available at the event announcement page. It contains links to the slide presentations and the video recording of the virtual information session.

The recording of this webinar and other events can also be found at the LIFE Programme YouTube Channel.

Any specific questions on this call can be emailed to EASME-LIFE-2020-NGO4GD@ec.europa.eu.

More information about the LIFE programme and its support to NGOs working to protect the environment can also be found here:


The call is open to non-governmental organisations legally registered (prior to 01 January 2018) in an EU Member State and primarily active at national or regional level in the areas of environment and/or climate action. Partnerships will not be allowed and only one proposal per applicant will be taken in consideration. Please refer to the full details of the eligibility criteria listed in the call documents.

Application deadline

The deadline for application submissions is Wednesday 31 March 2021 at 17.00 CET (Brussels). Applications should be sent electronically by email only to the following address: EASME-LIFE-2020-NGO4GD@ec.europa.eu.


Image Copyright: EC – Audiovisual Service

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: https://europa.eu/!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.


Source: https://www.intelligentcitieschallenge.eu/ 

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.