What cities need from the next Horizon Europe funding programme

4 recommendations to activate the next-generation climate governance


When the European Commission published the new mission-oriented approach proposed for the forthcoming Horizon Europe programme in January 2018, we were glad to see such a strong emphasis on cities’ role. The principles highlighted in the Mazzucato’s report echo the views of cities, whom to a great extent will be the “delivery arms” of Europe’s innovation.

More particularly, the report’s recognition that missions should activate innovation “across sectors, across actors and across disciplines” is a paramount principle to uphold across the board.

Governance is so crucial in itself that it should also be one of the core focus of the Climate neutral and smart cities Mission-derived projects, rather than a mere concept guiding their design and implementation.

Cities will have to invent and design “next-generation” organisational and business models to unleash the potential of decentralised technologies. Breaking from entrenched dependencies and developing new partnership models around the whole circular economy value chain will also require the development of inventive solutions.

In light of this, governance-oriented projects that reinforce cities in-house climate and energy capacities cannot be all confined to the future LIFE programme, less beneficial for local authorities in terms of administrative and financing set-up. Scaling-up innovative techniques, technologies and products through ingenuous organisational approaches and models is what will place Europe ahead of the innovation curve.

If we want to activate the next-generation climate governance, here what we suggest:

  1. Enable “governance engineering”
  2. Regularly adapt Mission workplan & priorities to cities’ evolving needs
  3. Help cities break free from systemic dependencies
  4. Leverage and support local energy agencies

Want to know more? Have a look at our briefing!