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

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:


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:!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.

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Call for Pilot Projects: UIA Transfer Mechanism

URBACT together with Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) have opened a Call for a pilot mechanism to transfer the most successful UIA projects to other European cities facing similar challenges. It is open to urban authorities wishing to join a Transfer Project Partner.

The pilot will finance up to four networks – each network will be comprised of four partners including the UIA lead city – whose objective will be to adapt the UIA innovations and develop an investment plan to fund their implementation. This would entail a total of twelve European cities, three transfer partners and an UIA city leading this process for each network. The networks will use the URBACT method of knowledge transfer to aid in transferring solutions tested through UIA projects.

The pilot networks will run from March 2021 to September 2022.


Image copyright: URBACT

Image copyright: URBACT

Building on the success of the URBACT Transfer Network model, this pilot mechanism will aim to transfer the knowledge gained from the 17 completed UIA projects of the first generation of UIA to other urban authorities and stakeholders who may be responding to similar challenges. These projects have put in place innovative and bold solutions to challenges such as energy transition, urban poverty, jobs and skills in the local economy, and integration of migrants and refugees. It is now time to pilot these solutions in new contexts using the URBACT model.

The “URBACT method” of learning from exchanges with tailored tools and supports from experts and peers has been tried and tested. It transfers innovative solutions from one city to another in order to solve similar challenges in the urban environment. The method is built on using networks effectively and in a supported manner amongst EU cities to build capacity and integrate urban action plans in a participatory manner. More information on this method can be found on this page.


Please address all questions related to the UIA Transfer Mechanism networks call to:


Deadline for online submissions is 1st February 2021 at 15.00 CET.


SOURCE information of this call


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Irish Delegation participates in CoR’s 141st Plenary Session

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) held its 141st plenary meeting on 8, 9 and 10 December 2020. The Irish delegation joined other locally and regionally elected representatives from across EU Member States in the CoR’s fully virtual plenary session.

The event was the last of six CoR plenary sessions held in 2020 and closed up what is sure to be a memorable year. The effects of and response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate change crisis were felt throughout the topics discussed.

Focus on Brexit

CoR Members engaged with Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, and the chair of the CoR-UK Contact Group, Loïg Chesnais-Girard, to debate on the EU-UK agreement and territorial consequences of Brexit. EU local and regional leaders discussed ways of maintaining EU-UK relationships and the importance of continued cooperation into the future, which was welcomed and echoed by the Mayor of London. Concerns were also raised about the continued uncertainty and implications of a no-deal outcome. Parties agreed that an agreement is in the best interest of everyone. The Irish delegation actively voiced local perspectives on the situation. Cllr Michael Murphy focused on preparedness for the end of the transition period and ensuring adequate support is available for SMEs. Cllr Kieran McCarthy urged that UK should continue to collaborate in cross-regional initiatives such as Erasmus, Horizon and Interreg.

Members took part on a number of other debates. The topics covered included:

  • European Commission Work Programme 2021
  • Stepping up climate ambition during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The New Package on Migration and Asylum
  • The enlargement package and European Neighbourhood Policy
  • Recovery and resilience in rural areas
The future of EU Rural Areas

Cllr Enda Stenson presented an opinion on the EU Strategy for Rural Revival. In the opinion, Cllr Stenson stressed “the need for rural-urban balance” with a real rural revival to provide equilibrium of opportunity and EU funding in urban and rural areas in order to ensure that rural areas are attractive places to live, work and raise a family.

Additionally, several opinions were broadly welcomed by CoR members including:

  • Towards more sustainable tourism for EU cities and regions
  • From Farm to Fork – the local and regional dimension
  • The impact of climate change on regions: an assessment of the European Green Deal
  • Challenges for public transport in cities and metropolitan regions

Further details on the 141st CoR Plenary sessions can be found on this page.

Photo credit: European Committee of the Regions

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.




European Year of Rail 2021 – time to get involved!

Image copyright: © European Union, 2020

The European Commission calls for event proposals for the official programme of the European Year of Rail 2021. First round of submissions are requested for 11 December 2020.

The European Green Deal puts sustainability at the heart of EU policymaking. Transport accounts for a quarter of all EU greenhouse gas emissions and it is clear that rail must play a starring role in the union’s future transport mix – for both passengers and freight. This is why the Commission has proposed making 2021 the European Year of Rail, as part of the EU’s efforts to spearhead the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Active engagement from all stakeholders in the rail sector and beyond will be key to the success of the European Year of Rail. The official programme of events is currently being prepared by DG MOVE of the European Commission, with the aim of ensuring active participation of local and regional authorities as well as other regional stakeholders in the organisation events, conferences, debates and project demonstrations.

If you are eager to “hop on the train” and get involved by planning an initiative in the context of the European Year of Rail, please fill out the template form (one form per initiative) and send it to DG MOVE ( with the COTER secretariat in copy ( Deadline for submissions for possible inclusion in the first version of the official programme is 11 December 2020.

Any further questions?

Please contact or

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.