Strong interest from all over the European Union
The UIA initiative received applications from 24 out of the 28 Member States of the European Union, including from 14 European capitals. Italy and Spain clearly stand out in terms of interest shown for this initiative, with respectively 104 and 72 submitted proposals.
All Call topics addressed but with different degrees of interest
The four topics included in this 1st Call for Proposals have seen different degrees of interest from urban authorities. On the one hand ‘Jobs and skills in the local economy’ (124) and ‘Energy transition’ (113) have been the most popular among urban authorities. The ‘Integration of migrants and refugees’ topic, very high in the current political agenda, saw a smaller number of applications (50) submitted under this Call.
When looking at the interest from different Member States, there is a strong correlation between the current socio-economic trends in Europe and the number of applications in the different Member States. For instance, urban authorities from Germany and Austria - two countries among those receiving the highest number of asylum requests in Europe – have submitted a proportionately high number of applications related to the integration of migrants and refugees. Another illustration of this is the strong interest of countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece or Portugal with unemployment rates above the EU average in the ‘Jobs and skills’ topic.
French and British urban authorities have demonstrated a strong interest in the ‘Urban poverty’ topic, but have submitted few ‘Energy transition’ applications.
A large variety of partners involved
With an average number of 6.7 partners involved, submitted applications largely promote horizontal (sectoral) and, to a lesser extent, vertical (levels of governance) integration. The Triple Helix paradigm is strongly promoted by applying urban authorities, with Higher Education institutes and research centres, private sector (SMEs, large enterprise and intermediary organisations) and civil society (NGOs, citizens, etc.) being very frequently gathered in project partnerships.
The full spectrum of EU cities’ size represented
The core audience (45%) of this 1st Call for Proposals corresponds to cities between 50 000 and 250 000 inhabitants, which is in line with the average European urban fabric. 38% of the applying urban authorities are towns with less than 50 000 inhabitants - and have therefore opted for a joint bid with other municipalities - whereas 17% of the applicants are large cities above 250 000 inhabitants.
The size of the cities also has an impact on the topics addressed by their application. The larger a city tends to be, the more it seems to be eager to work on the integration of migrants and refugees. The smaller a city is, the more it seems to be interested in ‘Energy transition’ and ‘Jobs and skills in the local economy’’ topics.
Although projects could ask for up to EUR 5 million of ERDF budget, on average applications ask for around a EUR 3.7 million ERDF contribution. Important differences between average budgets can be noted from one Member State to another. For instance, on average Greek applications have an ERDF budget of EUR 3.1 million whereas French applications have an average ERDF request of almost EUR 4.6 million.