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EU coal regions exchange programme

ExchangeEU facilitates cooperation and exchange between EU coal, lignite, peat and oil shale regions to foster a just energy transition.


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, which can accelerate the clean energy transition across different regions in the EU.

The exchange programme is part of the Coal Regions in Transition initiative and is implemented by a consortium led by Guidehouse and including ifok, ICLEI and Wuppertal Institute, on behalf of DG Energy. It was launched in November 2021 and is further explained in this video.

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.


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 build a foundation on which the participating regions can build ongoing cooperation in order to foster a just energy transition.

Selection procedure and matching candidates

A region will be selected based on how well its profile aligns with a potential partner region, as opposed to its individual qualifications for the process. Each region will be invited to propose the kind of exchange format for joint learning that would best meet their specific needs.

Applying regions will be asked to specify preferred topics according to their interests and challenges. The result is a demand-driven programme design tailored to each participating region.

Examples of issues to be explored in-depth include

  • Clean energy transition
  • Economic diversification and regional development
  • Transition governance and strategy
  • Project implementation and finance
  • Social fabric and community
  • Infrastructure and site sustainability

Formats on offer

The application process will allow for the selection of 2 main exchange formats

  • 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 to learn on the job, with replicable examples or one-on-one mentoring.

In addition, regions are encouraged to propose their own exchange format to meet their specific needs and create innovative approaches for joint learning and peer-to-peer encounters.

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.


exchangeEU will consist of 2 exchange rounds; the first starts on 15 November 2021 and runs until late 2022; the second round will kick off in September 2022 and continue into 2023.

  • Launch of exchangeEU and call for applications (1st round) – 15 November 2021 (at the Just Transition Platform meeting)
  • Application deadline (1st round) – 31 January 2022
  • Virtual kick-off event, followed by in-person exchanges (1st round) – earliest start expected for April 2022
  • Call for applications (2nd round) – early September 2022
  • Application deadline (2nd round) – early October 2022
  • (Virtual) kick-off event, followed by in person exchanges (2nd round) – earliest start expected for late January 2023

How to apply?

To join the programme, interested participants are invited to follow these steps

  1. Gather mandate: define your interests and needs to be part of the exchangeEU programme
  2. Build coalitions: identify your region‘s stakeholder(s) to take part in the exchange (one person up to a delegation)
  3. Match up: ideally, find region(s) to pair and apply via a joint application form
  4. Apply: fill in the programme’s (individual or joint) application form by 31 January 2022, noon at the latest

If you already have one or more regions to form a good match, we encourage you to submit a joint application. The final exchangeEU application forms will be published soon. Meanwhile, to prepare your final application, you can download both application forms as PDF templates under “Documents” below. Be aware that these are only templates and filling them out does not exempt you from properly applying via the EU survey individual or joint application forms.

If you are not a public authority or your delegation does not include representatives from a public institution, you should demonstrate meaningful support and intended involvement from relevant public authorities in your respective coal+ region through a Letter of Support.

Please note that some of your personal data will be required when applying for and participating in the exchanges. We invite you to read our privacy statement for details.

All applicants will be informed about the results of the selection process within 1 month after the application deadline. The start date of each exchange will be defined based on the needs and interests of participating regions.

Financial support

For group formats, exchangeEU will cover the travel and accommodation costs of up to 4 representatives and for peer-to-peer formats 1 person per participating region in addition to other exchange relevant expenses (for exampe site visits, venues). Additional participants are welcome at their own costs.

For further details about exchangesEU, please reach out to:


Frequently asked questions (FAQ) – updated on 24.01.2022
(218.63 KB - PDF)

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