Strong and renewed interest from all over the EU
The UIA initiative received applications from 23 Member States. Compared to Call 4, Cyprus and Estonia return to UIA (Estonia last submission was in Call 1; Cyprus last submission was in Call 3). Similar to the first three Calls for proposals, Italy and Spain clearly stand out in terms of interest shown for this Call, with 41% of the total number of applications coming from these countries. Greece follows with the third highest number of submitted applications (20), with Portugal coming next (15).
Compared to previous years, the 2019 5th Call for Proposals sees a significantly greater participation of all MS registering over 3 applications, besides Germany, UK and Poland. Most notably, Greece records a +3.9% compared to its previous average, with Portugal (+3.2%) and Hungary (+3.0%) completing the podium. Other notable entries are those of Belgium and Latvia (+1.7%) and the Netherlands (+1.5%). On the other end, UK (-1.2%), Poland (-1.1%) and Germany (-0.7%) record the most significant reduction in the number of applications submitted.
In total, the Mediterranean countries are the ones best represented in Call 5 (accounting for 57% of the total number of applications), with Central European urban authorities, most notably from Hungary, Belgium and the Netherlands, preserving their previous standards. Interestingly, EU13 countries (added to the European Union after 2004), have seen their UIA participation rising considerably as compared to the past; applications from the likes of Romania, Croatia, Cyprus and Slovakia accounted for 17% of all applications submitted (compared to 11.6% on average for all previous Calls).
All four Call topics addressed
The four Call topics have seen uneven interest from applicants. Culture and cultural heritage has attracted an impressive 105 applications, close to 50% of the total submissions. Circular economy and Air quality have seen an almost even number of applications submitted, confirming they are topics of great interest for urban authorities across the EU; with 54 and 46 applications respectively (24% and 21% of the overall number of applications), they were the 2nd and 3rd most popular topics of this Call for Proposals. Demographic change attracted the least applications; 17 cities applied for this topic (7% of the total).
Geographical trends for different topics
Culture and cultural heritage shows the wider territorial spread among applicants, with urban authorities from 21 different Member States applying for this topic. Cities from South and East Europe have shown a clear interest in working on innovative solutions for culture, with most of the proposals submitted under this topic originating in Italy, Spain and Greece (50% of all proposals). Proposals from cities in Hungary (7) and France (7) follow next. Austria’s and Cyprus’ sole (1) project proposals will be considered under this topic as well.
In a similar fashion, the Circular economy topic attracted interest from urban authorities located in 17 Member States. The territorial division is quite similar in this topic, with Spanish cities on the forefront, accounting for 20% of the submitted applications, and Greece, Italy and the Netherlands following next. In total, 55% of all project proposals on this topic are coming from one of these four Member States.
Air quality has received applications from 14 Member States. Besides Italy (16 applications in total) and Spain (8 applications in total), this topic has not attracted more than 3 applications from any of the remaining 12 Member States. Interestingly, Bulgaria has had 2 out of its total 3 applications under this thematic area.
Demographic change territorial spread is concerning 9 Member States; 40% of Latvia’s total number of applications are under this topic; Estonia, Croatia and Finland are the other standouts in terms of numbers of proposals for Demographic change.