EU Funding Conference

On Wednesday 19th April 2023, the Irish Regions European Office (IREO), in conjunction with the three Regional Assemblies of Ireland and the Irish Delegation to the EU Committee of the Regions held an EU funding conference “Connecting, Communicating and Collaborating – Irish Regions Cooperating across the EU: How local authorities can engage in European Programmes”.  

This one-day national conference was attended by over 130 delegates and it aimed to communicate the opportunities for local government to participate in EU funding, particularly in the European Territorial Cooperation programmes, the Horizon Europe Missions and the LIFE programme.

Keynote speaker, Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Programme and Reform noted that “INTERREG and other EU programmes play an important role in supporting the process of creating links, exchanging views, understanding differences, working together, and promoting and maintaining peace”.

Cllr Michael Murphy, Member of Tipperary County Council and Head of the Irish Delegation to the Committee of the Regions called on Government to support a strategy to enhance the engagement of local councils in EU funding, by enhancing the support for the Irish Regions European Office in Brussels and funding an EU officer in each local authority in Ireland.

The conference featured nine different EU funding programmes and concurrent information sessions were held during the afternoon. These sessions informed and guided potential participants through the application process for the Northern Periphery and Artic Programme, the North West Europe Programme, the Atlantic Area programme, the URBACT, the ESPON and the INTERREG Europe programmes.  One to one sessions were also held on several of the Horizon Europe Missions and the LIFE programme for protecting the environment and combatting climate change.

One of the highlights of the day was the launch of the IREO and Regional Assemblies interactive map which provides details of all ETC projects for the 2014 – 2020 period and further details of this map can be found on the Regional Development Monitor website:


Photo Gallery


Building Europe – Call for Applications

The European Commission has launched a call for applications for local authorities wishing to become partners in communicating the EU as part of the “Building Europe with Local Councillors” network.

The aim of the partnership is to help and encourage local representatives to present EU policies, actions and initiatives objectively and in clear, understandable language to their constituents. The aim is to promote discussion and debate about these European policies, actions and initiatives at a grassroots, citizen level.

A local authority that chooses to take part in the “Building Europe with Local Councillors” network will appoint one locally elected councillor as a member of the network. The authority will also sign a declaration in which the local authority agrees to make the following commitments:

  • Engage regularly in discussions and debate with members of their constituency or local media about the general political initiatives and measures conducted by the EU.
  • Present EU policies, actions and initiatives objectively, based on accurate and trustworthy information.
  • Take part in the day-to-day operations of the network by participating in the online platform, attending seminars and visits offered by the European Commission.

In order to support the local councillors and their authorities in communicating Europe, the European Commission will provide:

  • Communication materials and a regular information updates to help them engage with citizens on EU issues.
  • Access to priority visits of the European Commission Visitors’ Centre in Brussels, physical or digital.
  • Access to an interactive platform to foster interaction with other members of the network.
  • Information about other EU initiatives dedicated to local councillors and local authorities, including in particular the activities of the Committee of the Regions and its Network of Regional and Local EU Councillors, and opportunities to follow and contribute to their activities.

If your local authority is interested in taking part, or wants to find out more click here.

Call for Young Elected Politicians 2022

The call to join the Young Elected Politicians programme 2022 is now open!

The Young Elected Politician Programme

The Young Elected Politician (YEP) programme looks to bring together young local and regional politicians from across Europe to network, exchange best practices and contribute to the work of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). By joining the YEP programme you will have the chance to work with other young politicians and represent your local authority and region at a European level.

European Year of Youth

This year is the European Year of Youth. The YEP programme 2022 will look to integrate this into this year’s programme events under three topics:

  1. Bringing Europe closer to its people: The YEP programme will help you to build bridges between your city and region and the EU, will give you inspiration on how to foster democracy, and will allow you to find ways of involving young people in democratic discussion and in local life.
  2. ​Building resilient communities: Under this topic, the YEP programme will give you a deeper insight into the European Green Deal, to inspire and be inspired by the projects of fellow YEPs, CoR members and other politicians. You will also get to know how to contribute to EU climate change and carbon-neutrality targets.
  3. Cohesion as a fundamental value: The YEP programme will allow you to learn about funding for local and regional authorities, to understand how cohesion policy can help the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and the development of your city and region, and to share best practices with other YEPs and politicians.
Who can apply?

You can apply if you:

  • hold a democratic mandate as an elected politician at regional or local level in a Member State of the European Union
  • were born after the 1st of January 1982
  • do not hold a mandate as a CoR member or alternate

The deadline for applications is the 8th of April 2022.

To apply or to find out more click here: Join the YEP community! (

“Science meets Regions” Call for expression of interest

The European Commission’s science and knowledge service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), has launched a call for expression of interest for the “Science meets Regions” preparatory action. The call focuses on territorial development at the subnational level, with regions and cities as the main target audience. Applicants can apply in this call for financial, methodological and/or scientific support from the JRC for projects that will advance evidence-based policymaking at the subnational level.

The call for expressions of interest will concern the following main work packages:

  • Innovation camps and participatory events for single regions and cities, focusing on specific policy topics
  • Networking initiatives for consortia of regions and/or cities on issues of common concern.

The topics covered by the call can be related to any of the six broad priorities of the current European Commission. But the topics of the Green and Digital Transition and Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will have priority in this call.

Science meets Regions

“Science meets regions” is the Joint Research Centre’s project to enhance evidence-based policymaking at the subnational level of governance across Europe. It uses a bottom-up approach, giving cities, regions and territories ownership of the topic and the process, while the JRC provides the financial and methodological support.


The focus of the call is on the subnational level.

For applications involving single regions and cities, only public sector bodies at NUTS2 level or below (including cities and municipalities) are eligible to apply. The main partner must be a public authority, but partnerships with academic and research institutions are encouraged.

For the multiregional strand involving networks of regions and cities, one partner from a public sector body at NUTS2 level will act as a lead partner and will involve at least 3 partners from at least 2 EU Member states.

More details on eligibility requirements can be found in the guide for applicants.

Deadline, Application and Questions:

Expressions of interest can be submitted by 17 September 2021.

To read more and to find the guidelines for applicants and the application forms, go to this page:

Any questions can be sent to: JRC-INFO-SMR@EC.EUROPA.EU

Interreg NWE Networking Event

Interreg North-West Europe (Interreg NWE) will be holding a networking event on 22nd June 2021 from 10:00-12:30 CET (9:00-11:30 Irish time).

This event will focus on an innovative and inclusive NWE. Interactive sessions during the event will give an opportunity to:

  • Learn more about the impact of NWE projects
  • Network with other stakeholders working in your field
  • Know more about the future NWE programme.

Project partners in NWE and from other Interreg programmes, decision-makers at EU, national, regional and local levels are all invited to participate. All potential applicants in future programmes are equally welcomed to partake.

This will be the second Interreg NWE online networking event. The first event took place on 20th May and focused on the “Greener NWE”. The presentations and recordings from this event will be available on this website shortly.

Hosting a round table

During this event, participants will have the opportunity to host their own virtual round tables to present project results, exchange on needs and challenges, look for synergies, or discuss a project idea for the future programme. If you wish to host a virtual round table, you are invited to briefly describe the topic of your presentation in the registration form. Organisers will contact you after 14th June to inform you if your proposal was selected or not.

Registration and Agenda

Here you will find a detailed agenda.

Registration is free but it is compulsory to register ahead of the event via the registration form.

Deadline to register is 14th June at 12:00 noon CET (11:00am Irish time).


More information is available here:

URBACT Open Call for a ‘national network’

Now is your chance to get your town or city involved in a national network for better placemaking through playful culture with the Irish National Practice Transfer Initiative (NPTI)!

What is NPTI?

URBACT Transfer Networks operate by allowing lead cities with good practices to share this practice with other European cities. The recently approved National Practice Transfer Initiative (NPTI) will use this successful approach on a national scale. This means that ‘lead’ and ‘follower’ cities in the network will all be in the same country.

The Irish NPTI will see the City of Cork as leading the transfer of good practices they learned on the Playful Paradigm network to five to seven other Irish towns and cities.

Participating cities and towns will have the opportunity through meetings, forums, and observations to develop a playful culture in their location. Being involved in the NPTI will allow participating cities to develop good practice of a playful culture in their town or city for social, environmental and economic benefits.

The network will run from June 2021 to December 2022.

Deadline to apply is May 9th at 5pm.

Playful Paradigm

The URBACT Playful Paradigm focuses on introducing play as a way to address the challenges of urbanisation, ageing, climate change and social exclusion. It provides a structure and framework for playful actions and playful placemaking to foster an appreciation of natural spaces and built places, health and social inclusion.


Only cities that have not participated in phase 2 of URBACT III networks are eligible to participate. However, public authorities who have previously participated in phase 2 of URBACT III networks are eligible to participate, as long as the proposed beneficiary city has not already participated.

For further information on the call

There will be a national Transfer Networks sharing event on April 29th to highlight the benefits of participating in URBACT and to showcase the results of Irish partners. Check out this page for more information on this event and how to register.

Read more about this call and how to apply.

Completed applications and any questions can be sent to

URBACT successes in Ireland

National Practice Transfer Initiative

Urbact Transfer Networks operate by allowing a lead city with a documented good practice to share this practice with other European cities. This approach has transferred good practices from 23 lead cities to 156 follower cities around Europe.

With this success, the National Practice Transfer Initiative (NPTI) will use a similar approach but the lead and follower cities will all be in the same country. Under NPTI, the lead city will be one that has already participated in a Transfer Network under the current URBACT III. Follower cities must be towns and cities that have not yet benefited from URBACT.

Under this new initiative, the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (EMRA) has successfully applied to coordinate the NPTI in Ireland, as announced on 9 March 2021. Cork was selected as the Irish lead city and five to seven follower cities will be selected though an open selection process between March and June 2021. Once follower cities have been secured, the network will run from June 2021-December 2022.

Check out this page on how to get involved and for more information.

SDG Localisation Network

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) form an internationally-recognised framework for the transition to a low carbon, socially equitable and inclusive world. Using the Urbact model of implementing long-lasting change in urban areas through supported networks, the Urbact Secretariat started the formation of an SDG Localistaion network. The main objective is for pilot cities to exchange, learn from European and international peers, build capacities towards the localisation process of the SDGs in their home territories, and to develop tools and policy recommendations.

From Ireland, Trim has been successful in its application to be part of the SDG Localisation network. This 19-city network will help cities to design an Integrated Action Plan on the localisation of the SDGs and will run from March 2021 to September 2022.


Ireland’s National Urbact contact point:

European Youth Capital – is your city ready?

Is your city ready to #YouthUp in 2024? 

Call for applications to the European Youth Capital 2024 are now open.

The European Youth Capital is a title awarded by the European Youth Forum designed to empower young people, boost youth participation and strengthen European identity. Each year, a new European city is given the chance to showcase its innovative ideas, projects and activities that aim to raise up young voices and bring a new youth perspective to all aspects of city life.

The European Youth Capital title will be awarded for the 16th time in 2024.

The first Capital was Rotterdam in 2009, and the last awarded city has been Tirana, which will be European Youth Capital in 2022

Why should a municipality apply to be the next European Youth Capital?

The European Youth Capital creates a positive impact in many areas:

  • Opens up new opportunities
  • Brings positive change
  • Encourages active participation
  • Promotes volunteering
  • Fosters European identity
  • Champions diversity and inclusion
  • Strengthens youth organisations
  • Boosts Investment in youth
  • Amplifies your city’s voice in Europe
  • Turns your city into an international meeting point
  • Connects young people

Want to know more? Check out the report “’European Youth Capital – Ten years of boosting vibrant youthful cities“.

Who can apply?

The EYC competition is open to any local authority from Member States of the Council of Europe, which are parties to the European Cultural Convention.

How to apply?

– The full call for European Youth Capital 2024 applications, with all the relevant dates and details.

– The European Youth Capital 2024 ‘Concept Note’ application questionnaire to guide the application.

– The European Youth Capital 2024 ‘Concept Note’ application form that cities must complete and submit.

– The legal terms and conditions governing the competition, which should be signed and submitted together with other application documents.

Deadline for applications: 17 January 2021

If you have any questions related to the application and selection procedure, please contact Ivan Neirotti (, Project Officer, at the European Youth Forum’s Secretariat.

Irish Regions European Office at EWRC 2020

Like most events so far in 2020, this year’s annual October week to celebrate European Week of Regions and Cities took a slightly different turn this year. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the events took place over 3 weeks and were held entirely online. However, that did not stop the Irish Regions European Office from participating and indeed, this year, we hosted an event entitled ‘Green Cities by Co-Design’. This event, co-organised by the Greater London Authority, brought together 9 cities from across Europe to examine how citizen engagement and smart technology work in building green cities.

The event heard from leaders of cities about the need for new ways of thinking about how to design and plan sustainable cities and sustain urban growth and how it can be done, in conjunction with local stakeholders. Speakers from Ireland, UK, France, Estonia, Belgium, Italy and Germany provided excellent examples of how citizen engagement is essential to building more liveable cities. Participants had the choice to participate in parallel sessions, one of which focused on citizen centric innovation and examined a range of innovative solutions for adapting to a smart city, whilst the second session focused on the importance of building new alliances with citizens. A range of effective engagement strategies were highlighted, and innovative initiatives showcased, which showed how to implement green cities, using research, innovation and good governance.

The IREO was particularly delighted to showcase the work of Limerick City and County Council and Smart Dublin. Both cities outlined how engagement with the local community is essential to combat climate change and make an impact on the urban agenda.

The event was held on Wednesday 21st October 2020 and a full recording of the workshop, together with the recordings of the two breakout sessions can be found below.

European Week of Regions and Cities 2020

European Week of Regions and Cities – a Yearly Regional Conference held in Brussels

The 2020 European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC), organised by the European Commission in partnership with the Committee of the Regions, will take place throughout October, from 5th to 22nd.

To ensure safety of all, this year will be the first ever fully digital EURegionsWeek.

European Week of Regions and Cities in a Nutshell

At the beginning of October, over 6000 participants and speakers from all over Europe will gather together for a programme of over 150 working sessions, exhibitions and networking events on regional and local development.

An annual event, EWRC brings together representatives from local and regional authorities, EU networks, universities and private practitioners working on regional and urban policies to showcase how regions and cities can tackle key challenges to implement the objectives of Cohesion Policy.

This year’s topics of EWRC are:

  • Greener Europe
  • Cohesion and Cooperation
  • Empowering Citizens.

We are pleased to announce that the IREO will host a session as part of the official EWRC programme on 21st October entitled Green Cities by Co-Design. Together with colleagues from all across European regions we will present methods for effective engagement strategies that will highlight how smart technology and citizen engagement is being used across Europe to co-design cities. A range of LRAs and a research institution will showcase innovative initiatives to implement green cities using research, innovation, good governance and the power of engaging in better and deeper collaboration with local citizens.

More sessions with the participation of Irish local and regional authorities will become known with the publication of the official EWRC programme, which is now available online, along with the registration forms. Participants wishing to attend are asked to create an EU Login before proceeding to register for their selected sessions (details available here).

The European Commission also launched #EURegionsWeek which provides news and updates on the conference and allows participants to already engage in discussions on all social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.