Sarajevo will participate in a new EU program with the aim of transforming itself into a smart and climate-neutral city by the end of the decade. The mission to deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 is an EU-funded program that includes technical and financial support over 10 years.
The Cities Mission is a new EU program that aims to mobilize local authorities, citizens, businesses, investors, and regional and national authorities to work together to transform 100 selected cities into climate-neutral, smart and innovative hubs that would serve as an example for other cities, according to a statement from the Delegation of the EU to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Engaging in this European initiative provides the opportunity for the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be at the forefront of the transition toward climate neutrality and the fight against climate change. Sarajevo has been selected from 377 entries and is one of the 12 cities participating in the European program that are not located in an EU member state. Elbasan, Podgorica, Istanbul, and Izmir were also selected.
Climate City Contracts
The chosen cities should now draw up, sign, and implement Climate City Contracts, which will not be legally binding, but “will demonstrate clear will and commitment to the EU and its goals,” the delegation noted.
Climate City Contracts will set plans to achieve climate neutrality by 2030, as well as investment plans
The contracts will set plans to achieve climate neutrality by 2030, as well as investment plans. The contracts will be created together with local stakeholders and citizens, with the support and assistance of the Mission platform.
The Mission Platform will provide the necessary technical, regulatory and financial assistance. Also, the EU’s Horizon Europe program will invest about EUR 350 million in mobility, energy, and urban planning, i.e. in research and innovation related to the mission of climate-neutral and smart cities in the period 2021-23.
Sattler: the BiH capital can become a champion of the Green Agenda for the whole Western Balkans
Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina Johann Sattler stressed that participating in the Cities Mission could enable Sarajevo to tackle the chronic problem of air pollution comprehensively and that the BiH capital “can become a champion of the Green Agenda for the whole Western Balkans.”
Participation in this European program will bring multiple benefits to citizens in terms of reducing pollution, traffic congestion, and energy bills, and introducing a healthier lifestyle, the EU Delegation said.
Wide support for Sarajevo’s application
Sarajevo’s application for the Cities Mission was led by Sarajevo Canton Prime Minister Edin Forto, and joined by 17 mayors and experts from the municipalities of Centar, Hadžići, Ilidža, Ilijaš, Novi Grad, Novo Sarajevo, Stari Grad, Trnovo, Vogošća, Grad Sarajevo, as well as the City of Istočno Sarajevo and the municipalities of Istočna Ilidža, Istočno Novo Sarajevo, Istočni Stari Grad, Pale, Sokolac and Trnovo. Sarajevo’s application was supported by the EU Delegation to BiH, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the US Embassy.
EU missions are a novelty in Horizon Europe’s research and innovation program for the period 2021-2027. These initiatives are also a new way to bring concrete solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing societies. They have clear objectives that are time-bound, realistic, measurable, and targeted to deliver tangible results by 2030.
EU missions have clear objectives that are time-bound, realistic, measurable, and targeted to deliver tangible results by 2030
The missions also aim to contribute to achieving key EU policy priorities, including the European Green Deal.