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European City Facility

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EUCF (European City Facility)

Reporting period: 2020-08-01 to 2021-07-31

The ultimate objective of the European City Facility (EUCF) is to build a substantial pipeline of sustainable energy investment projects across cities in Europe. This will be achieved by providing targeted financial, technical, legal and capacity building support to overcome critical barriers, develop credible investment packages and mobilise finance. Delivering this will require organisational, technical and financial innovation, in particular to bridge the capacity and capability gap for small and medium-sized municipalities.

The specific objectives are to:

- Provide hands-on locally rooted technical and financial expertise, inspired by ‘best in class’ European practice, to cities to deliver at least 225 credible and scalable investment concepts (hereafter referred to as IC) which should trigger more than EUR 320 M of public and private investment.
- Build the capacity of at least 450 public authority staff to develop substantial project pipelines and provide them with tools, networking and knowledge transfer opportunities which will facilitate and accelerate the IC implementation, including via innovative financing mechanisms and project aggregation.
- Facilitate access especially for small and medium-sized municipalities to private finance, EU funding streams and similar facilities (e.g. ESIF, H2020-PDA, Elena-EIB) and advisory services such as the EIB Advisory Hub to realise and amplify the expected investments.
- Use the successful IC and knowledge of EUCF beneficiaries to reach out to more than 8,000 cities and communities, encourage replication and catalyse further action across European cities.
To be able to provide financial support to cities and their groupings, the consortium needed to prepare the ground to allow potential beneficiaries to get support from the EUCF, through open and widely disseminated and attractive calls.

The following activities were undertaken during this first year:

• Definition of the governance structures and meetings of the core management team and Strategic Board
• Selection and establishment of formal agreements with country experts (CE) and national cities networks (NNs)
• Organisation of webinars for CE and NN - training sessions
• Official Launch of the EUCF during the Sustainable Energy Investment Forum, with EASME and DG ENER
• Organisation of national webinars - Originally planned as national workshops, due to COVID 19 and to the lockdown period faced across the whole World, NN organised the national info-sessions online.
• Definition of the eligibility of applicants
• Definition of the support – geographical coverage and funds allocation
• Allocation of funds per region
• Definition of the calls for proposals to the EUCF and application process;
• Definition of the evaluation process
• Development of investment concept template
• Definition of the support to third parties (lump sum based)
• Development of a model of a Grant Agreement to be signed between EUCF and beneficiaries
• Developing a comprehensive Helpdesk Strategy and Complaint Mechanism
• Developing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with regular update
• Develop and launch the Facility Management Platform
• Massive promotion of th EUCF through national and European channels (e.g. Covenant of Mayors), reaching more than 10.000 cities
• Launch of the 1st call for proposals
• Evaluation and ranking of applications
• Grant Agreement preparation phases with 30 selected applicants
• Signature of 30 EUCF Grant Agreements (Samsoe, Mórahalom,Cottonera,Visaginas, Sztum, Castel San Pietro Terme, Isola Vicentina, Gyöngyös, Nyborg,Horst aan de Maas, Hódmezővásár hely, Rheden, Pinerolo Area,Waalwijk, Karlovac, Velika Gorica, Piaseczno, Dobrich, Veszprém, Westland, Olot, Rijeka,Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead,Ravenna, Cascais, Rostock, Coventry,Malaga, Leeds,Schaerbeek)
• Development of 30 investment concepts
• Preparation of the 2nd call for applications (incl. Strategic Board, Investment Advisory Group and country experts meetings)
• Revision of eligibility criteria (type of organisations and inclusion of EEA-EFTA States of Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway)
• Launch of 2nd call for applications and organisation of 28 national webinars and a general launch and peer-to-peer event
• General dissemination of the 2nd call (e.g Covenant of Mayors signatories, Committee of the Regions)
• Closing of the 2nd call
• Starting of the evaluation process of the 221 applications received
Expected results:
The EUCF will support the development of more than 200 investment concepts, which aim to trigger at least 320 M Euros of private and public investment in sustainable energy projects in cities and their grouping in EU 27 + UK + EEA-EFTA States of Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway