Organized within the framework of the 19th European Week of Regions and Cities the session “Circular solutions for regions and cities – how to make them work” offered comprehensive insights into support programs and schemes from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to further advance the transition towards more circular economy at European level.

Circular cities and regions initiative (CCRI) is an EU initiative supporting regional and urban actors in the implementation of local and regional circular economy solutions.

The scheme brings together financial support from Horizon Europe and technical support by many collaborating organisations”, said Petra Goyens, Deputy Head of Unit RTD.B1, Directorate General Research & Innovation at the European Commission.

The main element of the scheme is the financial support to demonstration projects amounting for up to 200 million € for the period of 6 years. The non-financial support is delivered via collaborating organizations, including OECD and EIB. Consortia of regional authorities, industry, as well as citizens organizations, among others, can apply for the fund. The major information on how to apply will be published on the CCRI website.

Phillip Horn, Head of Circular Economy Division at the EIB, gave an overview of the European Investment Bank’s work in circular economy. The Bank’s activities in the sector focus on 3 activity clusters: advisory support, finance and awareness raising. Among the initiatives presented by Phillip Horn was the Circular City Funding Guide providing information to municipalities, businesses, and other urban actors on financing and funding sources that are available for circular initiatives and projects as well as guidelines for setting up funding programmes. Thanks to European Investment Advisory Hub , another interesting initiative by EIB, cities can receive free advice and support to start or continue their circular transition as well as on how to design and best position their projects to access funding.

From 2016 to 2020, the EIB provided €2.7 billion to co-finance circular economy projects in a variety of sectors. The project highlights are listed in the EIB Circular Economy Overview 2021.