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EURE: a European project contributing to sustainable growth

EURE: a European project contributing to sustainable growth

Improving the way the ERDF addresses environmental urban challenges of cities in peripheral regions, with international cooperation

EU Member States must allocate at least 5% of their national European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) payments to support integrated strategies. However, the fund does not always meet the needs of cities in terms of designing and implementing appropriate urban policies, particularly in the field of environmental quality and resource efficiency.

Some cities do not have access to these funds due to their low density. Conversely, large urban areas may find it difficult to include circular economy principles in their comprehensive urban development strategies.

In this context, the EURE project (Effectiveness of Environmental Urban policies to improve Resources Efficiency) - financed by the Interreg Europe programme - is working towards better use of European funds for sustainable urban development. See how below.

Improving the environmental performance management of EU urban spaces

The objective of EURE is to use interregional cooperation to improve the way the ERDF addresses the environmental urban challenges of cities in peripheral regions, while also paying attention to those cities of small dimension but with influence in the sparsely populated areas where they are located.

In the first step, each of the nine project partners will produce a regional report detailing the state of play of urban environmental policy instruments. For that, partners will define, with the support of a pool of experts in an urban environment, a joint structure and methodology.

The regional state of play reports will be then presented during a study visit to each territory. These visits will allow partners to understand the real context of the report, to know in situ the good practices and to meet the main regional stakeholders.

In addition, partners will develop a joint report about how the funds allocated by article 7 of the ERDF Regulation are being used in their territories. It will correspond to a catalogue of policies, actions and good practices that partners consider as relevant and can support them in the improvement of their own policies and programmes.

Each partner will set on its territory a group of local stakeholders with the mission of following up the development of each stage of the interregional learning process and discuss the project outputs.

Action plans will be elaborated as a result of the learning process and the exchange of experiences activities. They will include a selection of good practices, concrete actions and recommendations about how to transfer those lessons learned to the local policy instruments. Action plans will establish schemes for improving the governance of key urban activities, such as waste management, water treatment and recycling.

Expected results

The project will contribute to Europe’s sustainable growth and territorial cohesion, both as dimensions of the Europe 2020 strategy. Namely, it will contribute to the achievement of the flagship initiative “Resource-efficient Europe” by supporting urban areas in sustainable and more efficient use of resources and in the introduction of the circular economy principles in cities governance. Finally, the EURE project will assure proper environmental performance management at the local level.

EURE was launched on 1 August 2019 and will last until 31 July 2023, with a total budget of 1,533,753 euros. It is coordinated by Atlantic Axis of Peninsular Northwest (Vigo, Spain), and unites partners from Rennes (France), Brussels (Belgium), Pilsen (Czechia), Empoli (Italy), Riga (Latvia), Lublin (Poland), Alba Iulia (Romania), Nicosia (Cyprus).

This article was submitted by the Atlantic Cities Association. For more information:  projects@atlanticcities.eu

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