Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Sustainable energy - 19.01.2011

CEMR welcomes new technical assistance for local and regional projects
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) welcomes the setting up of a new technical assistance for local and regional projects on energy efficiency and renewable energy, as announced by the European Commission on 18 January 2011.

Technical assistance grants will now be awarded to projects representing a minimum investment of €6 million. This assistance will notably raise the chances municipalities and regions have of securing future bank loans or EU grants and of facilitating tangible investments.

Moreover, the European Commission announced the extension of the ELENA facility, also a technical assistance for local and regional authorities, to medium sized energy-related projects, with a special focus on social housing and pilot projects. Until now, the ELENA facility only covered big projects of more than €50 million, which thus excluded a majority of local and regional authorities.

In its Resolution on the Financing of Actions Against Climate Change, published in June 2010, CEMR had encouraged 'the European Commission to propose funding tools more adapted to smaller municipalities, in order to enable all local and regional government to take part and contribute with their citizens." It had also asked that the Commission 'develop financial tools that are accessible to a wider number of local and regional authorities, whatever their size," in its Response to the Consultation on the EU Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020, published in July 2010.

Now that further steps have been taken in the right direction, CEMR will encourage the EU institutions to offer further financing to Covenant of Mayors signatory municipalities and to continue developing financial tools to support local and regional decisions and measures with a significant impact on the future EU energy production and consumption.

These announcements were made at the occasion of the launch of the 2011 call for proposals of the Energy Intelligent Europe programme, which provides EU co-financing for projects revolving around sustainable energy, including those developed by local and regional authorities.
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