Strong and renewed interest from all over the European Union
The UIA initiative received applications from 21 Member States, including for the first time from Cyprus and Slovakia, not represented in the 1st Call for Proposals. As for the 1st Call, Italy, Spain and Greece clearly stand out in terms of interest shown for this 2nd Call, with over 60% of the total number of applications coming from these countries. Brexit has not discouraged British urban authorities to apply with 8 applications (which is proportionally in line with their previous participation to Call 1).
All three Call topics addressed but unevenly
Urban mobility and Circular Economy have been the most popular topics among urban authorities with respectively 45% and 35% of the overall number of applications. The integration of migrants and refugees topic (topic already proposed in the 1st Call for Proposals) has received less applications (20% of the total), although the number of project proposals is proportionally higher than in the 1st Call (13% of all applications submitted in the 1st Call).
When looking at the interest from different Member States, urban mobility shows the broadest interest with applications submitted from all 21 different countries (with a strong interest demonstrated by urban authorities from Eastern European countries), showing a clear EU-wide demand for innovative urban solutions in that specific field. Compared to the 1st Call for Proposals, the integration of migrants and refugees topic has shown a narrower geographical coverage with only 9 Member States involved in Call 2 (15 for Call 1). Circular Economy has been the topic with the higher number of applications in several Western European countries (France, United-Kingdom or Belgium for example).
The full spectrum of EU urban authorities’ size represented
When considering the Main and the Associated Urban Authorities, over 330 urban authorities have applied to this 2nd UIA Call for Proposals. The core audience (58%) corresponds to cities between 25 000 and 250 000 inhabitants, which is in line with the average European urban fabric. 44% 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. These figures are very much comparable to those of the 1st Call for Proposals.
The size of the urban authorities also has an impact on the topics addressed by their application. The larger an urban authority tends to be, the more it seems to be eager to work on urban mobility. The smaller (or medium-sized) an urban authority is, the more it seems to be interested in ‘’Circular Economy’ and ‘integration of migrants and refugees’.
A large variety of partners involved
With an average number of 7,3 partners involved (slightly higher than for 1st Call applications (6.9)), submitted applications largely promote horizontal (and vertical to a lesser extent) integration. The participative approach for the co-design and co-implementation of the proposed innovative projects is thus strongly promoted, with an important involvement of the private sector (large enterprises and SMEs) accounting to almost 30% of all delivery partners.
Although projects could ask for up to EUR 5 million of ERDF budget, on average Call 2 applications ask for around a EUR 3.7 million ERDF contribution (very comparable to Call 1 situation). Important differences between average budgets can be noted from one Member State to another. For instance, on average Spanish applications have an ERDF budget of EUR 3.7 million whereas French applications have almost an average ERDF request of EUR 4.7 million.