One-to-one consultation sessions and orientation dialogues with CINEA

The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) are the Irish National Contact Point for the EU Innovation Fund. In this capacity they are excited to offer a unique opportunity of one-to-one consultation sessions with Deloitte for projects at an Advanced Stage who are considering an application in either the 2024 or 2025 call.

The one-to-one consultations sessions offer a valuable opportunity to receive personalised guidance on project proposals.

To be considered for these sessions, DECC request potential applicants to provide:

  1. Project Overview: Briefly describe your project, highlighting key objectives, innovations, and expected outcomes.
  2. Current Stage: Specify the current stage of your project. This could include research, development, testing, or any other relevant phase.
  3. Challenges: Identify any challenges or specific areas where you seek guidance or support.
  4. Team and Partners: Provide information about your project team and any existing or potential collaboration partners.

Please submit this overview document to innovationfund@decc.gov.ie  by 5pm Tuesday 23 January.

Please Note – Projects that demonstrate significant potential and align with the EU Innovation Fund’s objectives will be selected for the one-to-one consultation sessions.

Selected projects will be notified by Friday 26 January and will have the opportunity to schedule a dedicated session with Deloitte.

This initiative is designed to enhance the quality of your project proposal and provide tailored insights to strengthen your application to the EU Innovation Fund.

Orientation Dialogues with CINEA

After the success of last year’s orientation dialogues with CINEA group members managing the Innovation Fund, DECC are delighted to announce the repetition of this segment during the Information Day which takes place on Tuesday 16 JanuaryThese dialogues allow advanced projects to discuss their applications at a high level with EU colleagues. Limited time is available, so this opportunity is exclusively for those intending to apply to the upcoming call.

To participate, send a project overview, including challenges and areas where guidance is sought, to innovationfund@decc.gov.ie by 12 noon on Wednesday 10 January. Successful projects will be notified the following day and should make themselves available for the afternoon of 16 January.

DECC request that if you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to reach out tot he Innovation Fund NCP at innovationfund@decc.gov.ie

 

Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly Visit

Coinciding with the 156th CoR plenary session, the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (EMRA) undertook a two-day study visit to Brussels. The delegation, consisting of eight councillors and Chief Executive Jim Conway embarked on a whirlwind tour of the EU in their two-days meeting MEPS, EU officials and Irish Permanent Representation staff.

Starting their visit in the European Parliament, the MEPs began by meeting Barry Andrews MEP, Colm Markey MEP, Ciaran Cuffe MEP, as well as Clare Daly MEP. Staff from both Frances Fitzgerald MEP and Maria Walsh MEP offices’ made themselves available to the delegation to speak about their work.

Following a packed morning, the delegation made their way to the European Parliament’s hemicycle to see the conclusion of the 156th CoR plenary session.

The afternoon found the delegation making their way to the Committee of the Regions for a meeting Michael Collins, Deputy Director of the CoR. During their meeting Michael gave the delegation an overview of the work of the CoR as well as outlining the role of the Regional Assembly in the CoR’s work.

The first day’s meetings were rounded out with a presentation from DG Regio Representatives Carmen Gonazalez and Miia Jouppi who spoke to the delegation about EU Regional Policy programmes including the Just Transition Programme, European Regional Development Funding and the New European Bauhaus programme.

The delegation visited the Irish Permanent Representation on the second day of their visit to meet Fionnuala Bourke. Fionnuala spoke to the delegation about her role as Cohesion Policy Attache as well as the need to increase the Irish presence in top jobs in EU institutions.

The visit concluded with a meeting with DG Regio official Tatiana Gouveia Coelho de Oliveira who spoke to the delegation about the New European Bauhaus initiative.

Southern Regional Assembly Visit Brussels

The Southern Regional Assembly (SRA) undertook a two-day study visit to Brussels. The study visit found the delegation of eight councillors and three assembly staff undertaking a packed two-day itinerary with MEPs and European institute representatives.

Starting on Wednesday the 28th, the delegation began their visit with a presentation from Michael O’Conchuir, Secretary General of the European Alliance group who provided an engaging overview of the work of the European Committee of the Regions and the impact of the Irish Delegation.

This was followed by two presentations from Commission officials firstly from DG Regio official Kai Stryczynski, who offered an analysis of the role of Cohesion Policy in Ireland. This was followed by an introduction to the New European Bauhaus from fellow DG Regio official Tatiana Gouveia Coelho de Oliveira.

In the afternoon the delegation met their regional representatives in the European Parliament. Starting with Sean Kelly MEP, the delegation would also meet Billy Kelleher MEP, Deirdre Clune MEP and Chris MacManus MEP.

The delegation began the second day of their visit meeting Grace O’Sullivan MEP to discuss the forthcoming Nature Restoration Law. This was followed by a meeting with Alessandro Giordani, Head of Unit at DG Communication, who introduced the delegation to the Network of EU Councillors.

The visit was rounded out with a presentation from Enterprise Ireland’s Grainne Ryan, Enterprise Ireland about the opportunities for local government in the Horizon Europe programme. Concluding the visit IBEC’s Neil Wolloghby offered an overview of Irish business interests in EU policy.

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: https://rdm.geohive.ie/pages/our-regions-economy.

Presentations

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! (europa.eu)

“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.

Eligibility

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: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/science-meets-regions/call-expression-interest.

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: www.nweurope.eu/news-events/events/nwe-networking-events/.

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.

Eligibility

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 mbrennan@emra.ie.

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: mbrennan@emra.ie