05 September 2022  - 04 November 2022

NetZeroCities is launching a groundbreaking programme that tests new approaches to reaching climate neutrality goals across cities in Europe. This Pilot Cities Programme is part of the EU Mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities (“EU Cities Mission”), providing €32 million in grants and hands-on support to cities. The call opens on September 5 and invites applications from all cities that are committing to the objectives of the EU Cities Mission and are located in EU Member States and Associated Countries.

The NetZeroCities Consortium and dedicated online Platform will also provide expertise and support services to the selected Pilot Cities and help them as they take an inclusive, systemswide approach to climate neutrality. Cities’ piloting activities will be diverse; consisting of social, cultural, technological, nature-based, regulatory, and financial innovations, as well as new approaches to business and governance. Applicants’ proposed activities will be considered, as well as how they interact with the various urban systems relevant to that city, including: mobility, energy systems and built environment, material and resource flows, health and well-being, natural areas, cultural, social, financial and institutional systems, and accessible public spaces. Further details regarding eligibility are available in the Call Guidelines.

 These piloting activities will turn cities into test beds for climate neutrality, leading the way for other communities to take action. Collective learning will be a central part of the Pilot Cities Programme, which will promote exchange among the cities at every step of the process. From there, the solutions will be shared even more broadly, as part of a twinning programme that will link each Pilot City with two to three other cities across Europe. To scale up these initial actions, the NetZeroCities Platform will also provide support in securing funding and financing for further implementation or replication. NetZeroCities is a project consortium consisting of 33 partners from 27 European countries, managing presently the EU Cities Mission platform. The project supports the 112 European cities known as the Mission Cities in drastically reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to achieve climate neutrality. The EU Cities supports the European Green Deal in building a lowcarbon, climate-resilient future through research and innovation.

More information:


The anticipated ratio of awards is as follows:

o 12 grants of 1.5 million EUR,

o 10 grants at 1.0 million EUR,

o 8 grants at 0.5 million EUR.

The amount awarded will be determined by the grant request specified by the applicant and the budget/estimated costs corresponding to the proposed activities articulated in the proposal form (matching the grant request), in line with national and institutional policies, rules, practices.

Call Timeline

5 September 2022

(12.00 CEST)

Call Opens

At 12.00 CEST hrs on Monday 5 September, the NZC Call, and Grant Management module will go live. Cities will be able to register themselves with the module through the NZC Mission portal and create a proposal with headline information. Cities will be able to save and return to this proposal at any time up until the submission deadline as stated below.

June –October 2022

Publication: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Between June and October 2022, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) file will be created and updated.


4 November 2022 (23.59 CET)

Call deadline

Formal deadline for full submission.

November 2022 – January 2023

Review and selection

Proposals will be checked against eligibility criteria (Stage 1) and eligible proposals reviewed by independent external experts (Stage 2). Proposals reaching a minimum scoring threshold against specified criteria will proceed to final selection (Stage 3).

28 February 2023

Decision Communication

Formal outcomes will be sent to applicants, along with feedback.

March 2023

Contract development

Applications amended to address compliance and selection feedback. Due diligence checks, and finalisation of revised project plans.

March 2023

Publication of Call outcomes and selected Pilot Cities



Call Documents

Call Guidelines

Pilot Cities Guidebook

Financial Guidelines for Applicants

Information sessions

The NZC consortium has scheduled a series of information sessions to support and guide cities. To watch recordings and access presantations:

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