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New EU support for sustainable economic growth in cities

30 August 2013
 New EU support for sustainable economic growth in cities

LONDON: The European Commission today launched a program to help boost sustainable economic growth in the European Union’s Eastern and Southern cities.

The EU plan will support urban development through energy efficiency, energy supply security and sustainable economic growth as part of its efforts to kick-start local economies and encourage municipalities to join the Covenant of Mayors. The Covenant is an initiative between regional authorities to voluntarily meet the EU’s 20% CO2 reduction by 2020 through energy efficiency and renewables.

The program for Sustainable Urban Demonstration Projects funding comes from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (SUDeP). From the total of €35.5 million (US$46.9 million) available for the SUDeP program, around €25 million (US$32.96 million) will likely be invested in the Eastern Partnership countries and €10.5 million (US$13.8 million) in the Southern Neighbourhood.

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, said in a statement: “Urban populations in the Neighbourhood region have reached more than 70% in many countries and continue to grow.

"This makes it crucial to invest in a cleaner urban environment and ensure the better management of urban energy sources as drivers for economic growth and job creation, as well as a better quality of life.”

The project is expected to start early in 2014.

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