Brussels, 28 April 2022
Members of the College said
“Cities are at the forefront of the fight against the climate crisis. Whether it’s greening urban spaces, tackling air pollution, reducing energy consumption in buildings, or advancing clean mobility solutions: cities are often the hub of the changes Europe needs to succeed in our transition to climate neutrality. My congratulations to the cities selected today, I look forward to the solutions you will develop to guide your inhabitants and businesses towards a greener future.”
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age,said:
“We need to speed up Europe’s transition to climate neutrality, to end our reliance on fossil fuels, and to deliver benefits such as cleaner air and lower energy bills for our citizens. It is great that so many cities will participate. We can support their ambition with our EU research and innovation budget. The Cities Mission has the potential to make a major contribution to our Green Deal and for Europe to become a climate neutral continent by 2050.”
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
“Horizon Europe Missions have a great potential to deliver the European Green Deal objectives, including European energy security. The selected cities represent a first step covering a wide geographical footprint. We want that concrete benefits reach all our regions and citizens, through innovation, empowering large and small cities with different levels of experience and capacities. I encourage all cities to reach out and work with all stakeholders, including of course their citizens, to achieve together our ambitious goals.”
Adina Vălean, Commissioner for transport, said:
“In their quest to become smart and climate-neutral by 2030, the 100 EU cities announced today will be natural “test beds” for innovative integrated solutions to many of the issues facing our citizens today, including urban mobility. Drawing on our New Urban Mobility Framework, they have the tools to making interurban and urban mobility healthy and sustainable, for instance by doubling high-speed rail traffic and developing extra cycling infrastructure over the next 10 years, investing in safe bike lanes, and ensuring connectivity with rural and suburban areas so that commuters are given sustainable mobility options. I am sure they will succeed, and I encourage other cities across Europe to follow their lead.”
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries said:
“The Mission for climate-neutral and smart cities will help us deliver our environmental commitments on zero pollution, biodiversity and circular economy. Many of the selected cities have already shown their environmental credentials in our Green Capital, Green Leaf and Green City Accord initiatives by tackling air, noise and waste issues. These cities’ ambitions for climate and innovation, as well as the Mission’s wider research funding, will help make urban living greener, cleaner and healthier for European citizens.”
Questions & Answers: Selection of 100 Cities for the EU Mission “Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities
Brussels, 28 April 2022
1. What is the Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities?
- Deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030;
- Ensure that these cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050.
2. How were the selected cities chosen?
The Commission launched a Call for Expression of Interest addressed to cities, open between 25 November 2021 and 31 January 2022. This call allowed cities to state their interest in becoming climate-neutral by 2030 as part of the Mission and to submit information on their current situation, ongoing work, and plans on climate neutrality. The Commission applied a rigorous procedure to select cities in an objective and fair manner. 377 cities from all EU Member States as well as nine associated or potentially associated countries submitted an expression of interest. 362 of them were found to be eligible.
3. What are the next steps for the selected cities?
4. What is the budget allocated for this?
5. Why limit the support of the Mission to 100 cities when so many more applied?
6. What will happen to the cities, which submitted an expression of interest to join the Mission but were not selected?
- Services from the Mission Platform: the Mission Platform can already offer services to the group of cities that want to work on climate neutrality with a 2030 timescale, but that were not selected in the call, and the Commission is considering dedicating additional resources for this purpose through forthcoming calls under Horizon Europe.
- National networks: in some countries, national networks are already being formed in support of applicant cities. A number of countries have announced or are planning to announce that they are intending to support a wider group of cities, whether or not they are selected, including in several cases with financial assistance.
- Local/regional efforts: on top of these national networks, the Commission is going to encourage the development of regional networks and “clusters” or “teams” of cities to be formed to work together on climate neutrality.
- R&I projects under the Cities Mission Work Programme of Horizon Europe: calls are open to all cities that commit to the objectives of the Cities Mission and cities may find interesting opportunities to get involved in such projects.