The EU Mission Label was awarded to 23 cities as part of the EU Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities on 21st March, one of the EU Missions under Horizon Europe. The Label recognises the cities’ plans to achieve climate-neutrality already by 2030 and aims to facilitate access to public and private funding towards that objective. The first ten cities received the Label in October 2023.

The EU Mission Label was awarded by Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth during a ceremony with mayors and city representatives at the EU Research & Innovation Days, the biggest forum in Europe to discuss the future of science and innovation and to co-create solutions with citizens and stakeholders.

The 23 cities that received the label are: Ioannina, Kalamata, Kozani, Thessaloniki (Greece), Heidelberg (Germany), Leuven (Belgium), Espoo, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Tampere, Turku (Finland), Barcelona, Seville (Spain), Pecs (Hungary), Malmö (Sweden), Guimaraes, Lisbon (Portugal), Florence, Parma (Italy), Marseille, Lyon (France), Limassol (Cyprus) and Izmir (Türkiye).

The EU Mission Label is an important milestone in the cities’ work. It acknowledges successful development of Climate City Contracts, which outline the cities’ overall vision for climate neutrality and contain an action plan as well as an investment strategy. Cities co-create their Climate City Contracts with local stakeholders including the private sector and citizens.

Next Steps

The EU will continue to support the cities in their work on transforming their ambitious plans into a pipeline of projects.

This includes new support via the European Investment Bank (EIB). Today, the Commission and the EIB announced an agreement to top up financial advisory services provided by the EIB specifically for cities participating in the Mission, in particular those awarded with the Mission Label. Services including the European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) and the Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions (JASPERS) are being topped up by close to EUR 19 million, which will be accessible for Mission cities via a central point of contact in the EIB. This agreement will be implemented in the upcoming amendment of the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2024.

Later this year, the Commission will launch a “Cities Mission Capital Hub”. This initiative will help cities that have received the Mission Label to prepare projects for investment, offer them neutral advice on the best financing solutions in close cooperation with existing advisory services, and put them in touch with investors. The Capital Hub should also translate cities’ investment strategies into a concrete series of needs for products and services per sector, in order for industry to better assess demand and for large and small businesses in the EU to enhance their competitiveness.

The Commission is expecting about 30 more Climate City Contracts to be submitted for review in April.

Source: European Commission