An important goal for CEESEN is to help municipalities in the Central and Eastern European region to adapt to climate change and realise a climate-friendly operation. Within the framework of the CEESEU project, we will demonstrate the entire process, from preparing the climate strategy through securing the necessary funds to evaluating the results, by going over the example of at least 60 towns across the region.

The Central and Eastern European region is different from the Western part of the continent in terms of history and geography, which is apparent in the specific aspects of its approach to stopping climate change.  As part of the “PANEL2050” project, the partners created the Central Eastern European Sustainable Energy Network (CEESEN).

The initiative, which came about in 2016, served the purpose of sharing experiences across borders, as well as of networking and sharing good practices among domestic actors. The CEESEU project, which will end at the end of 2023 and is financed by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, allows this cooperation to continue. During the three years of the project, the partners prepare the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) of two cities, with the support of partner organisations abroad. Part of this project is helping the cities get their citizens and any other efficient actors involved, as well as helping with community planning.


Create training materials and train local public administrators in the CEE

Guide CEE municipalities in engaging with stakeholders and carrying out multi-level governance to develop SECAPs; 

Improve engagement between public administrators in the CEE and with the EU

Guide CEE municipalities in financing and implementing SECAP actions; 

Offer guidance to the CoM and other EU actors on how to better reach and serve the needs of CEE municipalities in the development and implementation of SECAPs

We organise trainings and conferences for local decision-makers and civilians where they can learn about great ideas, get information about possibilities, and build useful connections with one another as well as with actors from the governmental and corporate sectors. Afterwards, together we identify the possible financial resources and tender opportunities to realise the climate strategies planned. The final phase of the project includes monitoring, i.e. evaluating and checking the results.

Perhaps the most important goal for CEESEN is to help municipalities in the Central and Eastern European region to adapt to the climate crisis while embracing the opportunities embedded in the Just Transition and tamping down greenhouse gas emissions to meet the EU’s aspiration for carbon neutrality by 2050. Within the framework of the CEESEU project, partners trialled the entire process, from aiding municipal administrators in preparing their climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, building capacity for developing a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan and subsequently ushering it through Council approval, to offering guidance and assistance in securing the necessary funds for implementation and, finally, in evaluating the results in terms of emissions reduction, financing secured to meet the municipalities’ aspirations detailed within the project’s operating area of 22 municipal entities in eight countries across the region.

CEESEN was formed in 2016 to share experiences in climate mitigation and adaptation within and across CEE member states, which differ in substantial ways from their western European counterparts. The CEESEU project, financed by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, ended in October 2023 and, among other aspects, supported CEESEN’s goal by twice bringing together in international conferences municipal administrators and planners from its stakeholder municipalities, inviting them to learn from energy experts and forerunner cities.

Among the most important outcomes of  CEESEU have been the invaluable experiences partners gained through assisting the project’s municipalities in developing and accessing implementation financing of the SECAPs, which we have made accessible for other municipalities not only in the CEE but across Europe in the various training modules and frameworks that are available on this platform. Building on the experiences and taking regional capacities into account, we have also communicated our advice to the EC regarding optimising the development of municipal energy and climate plans, reports that can also be accessed on this platform.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 696173.
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