In the coming months, the European network of Urban Contact Points, as the national info points for the European Cities Initiative (EUI) are called, will be launched. In Slovenia, IPoP will be the Urban Contact Point.
The European Urban Initiative (EUI), established by the European Union, aims to strengthen integrated and participatory approaches to sustainable urban development. It offers a number of opportunities for cities to develop innovative solutions and strengthen their capacities.
A central activity of the European Cities Initiative is the calls for innovative projects (formerly Urban Innovative Actions – UIA), through which cities can obtain up to 80% co-funding for their innovative projects of up to €5 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). These calls are reserved for areas with a higher degree of urbanisation. Smaller calls are open to these cities to share knowledge and experience and to help each other.
All cities, regardless of their size and level of urbanisation, benefit from a wide range of training courses and access to a wide range of knowledge, which also draws on other European initiatives and programmes aimed at urban development.
In addition, the European Cities Initiative supports the work of the Urban Agenda for the EU partnerships and foresees close cooperation with the URBACT programme.
Network of national contact points
Cities will also be further supported by the Urban Contact Point (UCP) network, a network of national contact points in the Member States. The points operate in national languages and act as a link between the initiative and urban policy makers and experts at local, regional and national level. In Slovenia, this role will be carried out by IPoP – Institute for Spatial Policies in parallel and together with the role of the National URBACT Point.
The tasks of the Urban Contact Points are:
- Increase the number of urban policy makers and experts at all levels of governance involved in EUI activities,
- Improve the skills and capacities of urban policy makers and practitioners at all levels of governance in the field of sustainable urban development,
- Encourage beneficiaries to take advantage of the support and opportunities offered by the EUI.
Foto: robert-katzki na Unsplash