EUI – European Urban Initiative

Grootstedelijke stadsontwikkeling

The European Urban Initiative (EUI) is intended to provide integrative support to cities, thus unifying the currently fragmented landscape of different initiatives, programmes, and instruments. The EUI aims to strengthen an integrated and participatory approach to sustainable urban development, whilst ensuring stronger links with relevant EU policies, in particular through cohesion policy investments.

The previous funding instruments Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) and URBACT from 2014-2020 are merged into the new EUI programme. It also links the activities of the EUI and the Urban Agenda for the EU (UAEU).

Target Group

Applications can be made by urban municipalities in all European Member States with more than 50,000 inhabitants. Cooperation between different cities is appreciated, but not obligatory.

It is also possible for smaller municipalities to cooperate and apply for funding, together comprising a total of 50,000 inhabitants. However, such municipalities must be a functional urban area, the coherence of which must be properly substantiated in the application. 

There are two types of actions that can be funded by this grant, namely innovation, capacity, and knowledge building.

Innovative actions relate to the themes of green, just, productive, and digital cities, as formulated in the new Leipzig Charter published in 2020. Specifically, this relates to actions that contribute to:

  • Greening and climate adaptation;
  • Providing access to all that the city has to offer to all sections of the population, thus combating social segregation and inequality;
  • A diversified and thriving economy; and
  • Digitalisation.

Capacity building

  • Improving the capacity of cities to adopt sustainable urban development policies, strategies, and practices in an integrated and participatory manner;
  • Improving the design and implementation of sustainable urban development policies, strategies, and action plans.

Knowledge building, territorial impact assessments, policy development, and communication

  • Development of a knowledge base to support better elaboration, implementation, and mainstreaming of sustainable urban development policies and strategies;
  • Facilitate access to cross-cutting and thematic knowledge, and share know-how on sustainable urban development;
  • Support the EU Urban Agenda and, at the request of Member State(s), support intergovernmental cooperation on urban issues

Figures and conditions

  • Projects have clear added value for the inhabitants of the city.
  • Results should be transferable to other cities within the EU.
  • Funding comprises a maximum of 80% of eligible costs.
  • The maximum project duration is 3,5 years.
  • The maximum budget per project is €5 million.

The total budget for the period 2021-2027 amounts to half a billion euros.


Applications must score on the following 5 evaluation criteria:

  • Innovation: The project idea must be new for Europe and clearly experimental. It may not be part of regular municipal activities. This criterion applies only to the innovation actions.
  • Participation: All relevant stakeholders must be involved in the project, both during the design phase and its implementation.
  • Quality: The project plan must be of good quality, with clear ambitions and actions, and a cost-effective budget.
  • Measurable: There must be a clear definition of the intended change and the expected success of the project. This explicitly includes a method to measure this success objectively.
  • Transferable: The project should address an urban challenge that is also relevant for other European cities, which are able to learn from the results. Dissemination of the final project results should therefore also be part of the project plan.


The second EUI call has been published. Approximately €120 million is available for projects that integrate sustainability, inclusiveness, and aesthetics. Eligible projects have a maximum duration of 3.5 years and can receive a maximum of €5 million in funding. The following themes are eligible:

  • greening cities
  • sustainable tourism
  • harnessing talent in shrinking cities



This summary aims to provide a quick insight into the purpose, structure and conditions of the grant programme (as known on: 05-05-2023). No conclusions can be drawn from it and no rights can be derived from it. 


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