This article summarises the report “Policy Recommendations for Enhancing Support Offered to CEE Municipalities”.

The full report can be accessed here 

Why support Central and Eastern European municipalities?

While the big drivers of the energy transition are the European Union (EU), National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) and networks such as the Covenant of Mayors (CoM), municipalities play a crucial role in the transition to a low-carbon society. Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) municipalities have lagged behind their Western European counterparts in joining the CoM framework for a variety of reasons, including political unwillingness, insufficient awareness, inadequate expertise and capacity, and a lack of access to resources. 

The Central and Eastern European Sustainable Energy Union (CEESEU) aims to build the capacity of public administrators in CEE to develop Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs) that promote increased energy efficiency, sustainable energy, reduced carbon emissions and improved climate change adaptability, helping the region to contribute towards meeting the EU’s climate goals. The Horizon-funded CEESEU project (2020-2023) operated in eight different CEE Member States – Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia – and in 22 smaller municipalities. By the end of the project, it triggered nearly 250 million Euros of investment in sustainable energy, increased by 124 GWh renewable energy production, improved capacity and skills of more than 500 staff in CEE municipalities, and more.  

Policy recommendations to better support CEE municipalities

Five recommendations emerge from CEESEU partners’ experiences and lessons learned while implementing climate and energy plans in CEE countries.  

  • Enhance cooperation and multi-level dialogues
    Facilitate establishing institutionalised coordination mechanisms at the national and sub-national level for a comprehensive and effective development and implementation of climate and energy policies and strategies.
  • Improve knowledge transfer and networking
    Facilitate knowledge sharing, good practice exchanges, and peer-to-peer learning among CEE municipalities and regional authorities to accelerate SECAP development and further implementation. Encourage local and regional authorities and stakeholders to set up regional networks for collaboration.
  • Improve capacity building
    Develop and provide tailored guidance and capacity-building programs specifically designed for CEE local authorities, taking into account the unique challenges and opportunities in CEE regions.
  • Provide tailored technical assistance
    Offer technical assistance and support in energy/climate data collection, risk and vulnerability assessments/analyses, and planning, tailored to the specific challenges in CEE regions.
  • Make MyCovenant more flexible
    Adjust and align CoM to better fit the context of CEE countries at both national and sub-national levels.

The full report can be accessed here

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The CEESEU project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 892270. The sole responsibility for the content of this material lies with the authors. It does not necessarily represent the views of the European Union, and neither EASME nor the European Commission are responsible for any use of this material.