About the initiative
The importance of boosting circularity at local and regional level
The EU’s transition to a circular economy will reduce pressure on natural resources and create sustainable growth and jobs. It will also help to achieve the 2050 climate neutrality target set out in the European Green Deal and contributes to the policy objectives of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy.
A growing number of cities and regions have drawn up action plans and are actively testing and improving circularity in their economic sectors, value chains and services. Several research and innovation projects and initiatives are helping improve circularity in local systems and economies.
Making circular economy actions plans deliver concrete solutions has often proved challenging. Innovative, systemic solutions for transitioning towards a circular economy at urban and regional level still need to be demonstrated and replicated effectively elsewhere. A major challenge is to expand circularity beyond traditional resource recovery in waste and water sectors and make circular solutions sustainable, regenerative, inclusive, and just.
Aims of the CCRI
As part of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, the Circular Cities & Regions Initiative (CCRI) focuses on implementing the circular systemic solutions at local and regional level by providing assistance to cities and regions.
The CCRI aims to increase synergies among projects and initiatives, disseminate relevant knowledge, and give greater visibility to best practices. It offers comprehensive support to stakeholders across Europe’s cities and regions, in particular:
Financial support to:
Demonstration projects from Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe (€200 million over six years). Examples include projects Agro2Circular, CIRCULAR FOAM, EcoeFISHent, FRONTSH1P from the Horizon 2020-funded European Green Deal Call;
Project development assistance of investment proposals (€40-50 million depending on needs, delivered through project development assistance (PDA) grants in Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe and Circular Economy Technical Assistance Facility (CETAF) grants from the European Investment Bank). For example, Horizon 2020 project HOOP;
- Technical assistance from collaborating organisations, such as the European Investment Bank (EIB)’s Circular City Centre (C3), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ‘Programme on the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions’.
CCRI Coordination and Support Office
The CCRI - Coordination and Support Office (CCRI-CSO), established in December 2021, is responsible for facilitating the implementation of the CCRI. It does so by creating synergies among relevant projects and initiatives, gathering and disseminating relevant knowledge, and providing visibility to examples of successful Circular Systemic Solutions. It also aims to boost innovation and upscale novel technologies and practices in order to make the circular economy happen.
More specifically, the CCRI-CSO:
- assists a Pilot Group of cities and regions with the development of their Circular Economy Action Plans (CEAPs) and Circular Economy Investment Plans (CEIPs), and the implementation of their Circular Systemic Solutions;
- facilitates cooperation, synergies and complementarities between the cities and regions of the Pilot Group and the CCRI’s fellows, CCRI projects and Associated Partners;
- collects relevant knowledge and lessons learned from their activities for further dissemination, communication and awareness raising activities.
The CCRI-CSO also aims to build dialogue with wider stakeholders, including other local and regional authorities, national authorities, other European initiatives and institutions, research and academia, and relevant organisations and networks.
Visit the CCRI for more information
- EU Green Week 2022 – Circular systemic solutions for regions and cities in action
- Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference 2022 - Cities and Regions: Accelerating system change for a circular transition in cities and regions
- European Regions and Cities week 2021 session - Circular solutions for regions and cities – how to make them work
Setting the methodological basis of the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI), this document provides policy- and decision-makers with operational guidance to accelerate the development and implementation of Circular Systemic Solutions at the local or regional level.
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European Week of Regions and Cities
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