Launched in November 2021, exchangeEU is the exchange programme for coal, lignite, peat and oil shale (coal+) regions in transition in the EU. It provides an opportunity for peer-to-peer encounters with the goal to establish long-term connections that can accelerate the clean energy transition across different regions in the EU.
The exchange programme is part of the Initiative for coal regions in transition and is implemented by a consortium led by Guidehouse and including ifok, ICLEI and Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy, on behalf of DG Energy.
Goals and benefits
exchangeEU sets out to establish meaningful and tangible exchanges between coal+ regions and aims to produce demonstrable long-term learnings and benefits. The exchanges are designed to set a foundation on which the participating regions can build cooperations in order to foster a just energy transition.
Participating regions get a chance to capitalize on the following benefits of exchangeEU:
- Demand-driven programme design tailored to the participating regions
- Hands-on learning opportunities and tangible results to take meaningful actions together
- Creating a community and network of practitioners with a lasting impact and benefit from other experiences and results
- Innovative and customized solutions for every participating region
Formats on offer
Matched regions have the chance to engage with each other in one tailor-made exchange format. This will take the form of either an on-site visit of one selected region of the pairing (the hosting region) or via an online format. The application process will allow for the selection of one of two main exchange formats, both of which can be conducted on-site as well as online:
- Group workshops to share lessons learned or best practice examples and build upon them to generate new ideas or solve a common challenge. This may include site visits if suitable.
- Peer-to-peer learning on the job, with replicable examples or one-on-one mentoring.
Regions are however strongly encouraged to propose their own exchange format to meet their specific needs and create innovative approaches for joint learning and peer-to-peer encounters.
exchangeEU will support the implementation of the agreed upon exchange format by facilitating the organisation of the exchange from the kick-off event through the agenda-setting phase and the organisation and final evaluation of the actual exchange. During all of these stages, participating regions are asked to provide input and shape the experience they will have.
Each exchange will produce innovative and customised solutions for each participating region. Results from all the exchanges will be made available to other participants to maximise learning benefits.
Who can participate?
exchangeEU is aimed at coal, lignite, peat and oil shale (coal+) regions from all 27 EU countries.
From each coal+ region, stakeholders from a wide variety of backgrounds (for example, regional and local authorities, development or energy agencies, NGOs, unions, associations, businesses, and academia) are encouraged to apply.
Applications from outside the EU may be admitted on a case-by-case basis.
A region will be selected based on how well its regional socio-economic background, needs and topic interests align with potential partner regions.
Applying regions will be asked to specify preferred topics and formats for joint learning as well as how they stand in terms of transitioning towards a low-carbon future and how advanced their Just Transition plans are.
Applicants who were interested in identifying a region to apply jointly with for the second round of exchanges had the chance to do so by joining our virtual pre-matchmaking session. During the session, regions that participated in the first round of exchangeEU shared their experiences with the applicants for round two. The event took place on 29 September 2022.
For an on-site format, exchangeEU can potentially subsidise the travel and accommodation costs of the representatives as well as other exchange-relevant expenses. The maximum amount that can be covered depends on the number of applications and formats chosen. We will update you with the amount later in the process.
For further details about exchangeEU, please reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org
exchangeEU consists of 2 exchange rounds. The first one started in November 2021 and concluded in October 2022. The second round launched with a call for applications on 15 September 2022 and will run until May 2023. Applications for the second round are closed. The exchangeEU team is currently in the process of reviewing the applications received.
The timeline for the second round of exchanges is detailed below.
- 15 September 2022call for applications (2nd round)
- 29 September 2022virtual pre-matchmaking session
- 12 October 2022dedicated session at the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC) Conference
- 25 October 2022support session for matchmaking at Just Transition Platform (JTP) Conference
- 10 November 2022application deadline (2nd round)
- January - May 2023implementation period of exchanges
First round of exchanges - Overview
For the first round of exchangeEU, 18 coal+ regions in transition have been selected and matched with each other. The matching process resulted in 8 exchanges, uncluding 4 pairs of regions and 4 triangles of regions. The participating regions represent a total of 12 EU Member States: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
Zasavje (SI): Hosting region
Northern Hungary (HU): Visiting region
Moravia-Silesia (CZ): Visiting region
Duration of study visit: 1-2 June
Upper Nitra Region (SK): Hosting region
Eastern Cohesion Region (SI), represented by the city of Velenje): Visiting region
Jiu Valley (RO): Visiting region
Duration of study visit: 21-22 June
Malopolska (PL): Hosting region
Ústi (CZ): Visiting region
Aragón (ES): Visiting region
Duration of study visit: 19 - 20 July
Western Macedonia (EL): Hosting region
Stara Zagora (BG): Visiting region
Duration of study visit: 29 August - 1 September
Midlands Region (IE): Hosting region
Western Macedonia (EL): Visiting region
Duration of study visit: 6 - 7 September
Saxony (DE): Hosting region
Karlovarský (CZ): Visiting region
Duration of study visit: 13 - 15 September
Asturias (ES): Hosting region
Silesia (PL), represented by the city of Bytom: Visiting region
Duration of study visit: 5 - 6 October
Saxony-Anhalt (DE): Hosting region
Ida-Viru (EE): Visiting region
Duration of study visit: 4 - 7 October