Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:
- Contribute to the implementation of EU policy and international commitments (European Green Deal, Global Approach to Research and Innovation).
- Identify a core group of Ukrainian cities that would commit to a climate neutrality target, including in reconstruction efforts;
- Accelerate the systemic transition to climate-neutrality of Ukrainian cities by preparing local authorities to meet the overarching objectives of the European Green Deal;
- Increase the visibility of the EU and its cities as leaders and engage cities participating in the Cities Mission in twinning and teaming activities with collaboration-minded Ukrainian city partners.
President von der Leyen’s statement on 27 April 2022 and the subsequent Commission Communication on Ukraine Relief and Reconstruction of 18 May 2022 propose to involve, through partnerships, the cities of the European Union in the reconstruction of the Ukrainian cities. This effort provides a unique opportunity for Ukraine and its cities to combine reconstruction considerations with long-term climate neutrality and sustainability objectives in line with the EU Green Deal, relevant international policy frameworks and the New European Bauhaus initiative. This will require systemic approaches and the deployment of innovative solutions to reduce in particular Green House Gas emissions in all sectors of activities so as to comply with the objective of climate neutrality. The purpose of this action is to associate more closely Ukrainian cities in the process of transition towards climate neutrality that is being promoted by the Horizon Europe Climate-neutral and smart cities Mission . Proposals are expected to address all the following activities:
- Map, on the basis of existing EU and international initiatives, the cities in Ukraine that could commit to the target of climate neutrality. The analysis that will be performed will be based on the methodological approach and guidelines published in the call for Expression of Interest of 25 November 2021;
- Following this analysis, identify and support a number of Ukrainian cities in developing their strategy for climate neutrality. Support should be provided to increase the awareness and the capacity of the local authorities on the issues related to climate neutrality. When developing their strategy for climate neutrality, cities should pay special attention to the need to reduce energy dependency from fossil fuels, to integrate climate neutrality considerations in their reconstruction plans and, when applicable, a citizen-driven systemic approach;
- Support the twinning and teaming between these Ukrainian cities and like-minded cities involved in the EU Cities Mission;
- Facilitate the exchange of good practices within the target group of Ukrainian cities and between them and the other cities in Ukraine.
The proposals will take into account the work already done by global city networks such as the Global Covenant of Mayors, C40 Cities and the EU’s International Urban and Regional Cooperation Programme, by international and multilateral organisations such as the UN-Habitat, the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, by international associations such as ICLEI and by global initiatives such as the Urban Transition Mission of Mission Innovation. Linkages should also be ensured with international networks that promote piloting activities such as the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) and with the initiatives for urban climate neutrality under the EU’s Neighborhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument.
Close collaboration with the Mission Platform presently managed by the NetZeroCities project is essential and projects should ensure that appropriate provisions for activities and resources aimed at enforcing this collaboration are included in the workplan. Detailed description of the specific activities and common actions that will be undertaken is not required at proposal stage and can be further defined at a second stage during the lifetime of the projects. The collaboration with the Mission Platform should be formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding to be concluded as soon as possible after the project starting date.
Collaboration with programmes and initiatives managed by the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) should also be considered when helping cities identify sources of funding for the implementation of their climate-neutral strategy.
Cooperation with the Global Covenant of Mayors  as well as with the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Ukraine, which is being proposed by the European Committee of the Regions for the reconstruction of Ukraine should also be taken into account in order to facilitate the peer to peer cooperation between cities and regions in the European Union and those in Ukraine.
The European Green Deal COM(2019) 640 final
Global Approach to Research and Innovation Europe's strategy for international cooperation in a changing world COM(2021) 252 final
Additional information available at https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/news/statement-president-von-der-leyen-local-and-regional-cooperation-between-ukraine-and-eu-ukraines-2022-04-27_en
Document available at https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/ukraine-relief-reconstruction_en.pdf
Proposals should in particular take into account the work done by the U-LEAD with Europe project, more information available at https://donors.decentralization.gov.ua/en/project/u-lead
Additional information available at https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/mission-climate-neutral-and-smart-cities-info-kit-cities-now-available-2021-oct-29_en
Additional information available at https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/822ee360-c9bf-11ec-b6f4-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-256649647
Additional information available at https://netzerocities.eu/
Additional information at https://cor.europa.eu/en/news/Pages/Ukraine-response.aspx