Introduction to the Project

The new European Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI) is part of the new European Circular Economy Action Plan adopted in March 2020 and aims to support Europe’s green transition by boosting circularity at local and regional level. In order to build capacity and drive economic growth, it works to increase collaboration and knowledge sharing between EU cities and regions. The CCRI also aims to boost innovation and upscaling, which are essential for making the circular economy more widespread and mainstream. The CCRI will share replicable best practices to help cities and regions find concrete Circular Systemic Solutions that suit their own needs.  The CCRI-Coordination and Support Office (CCRI-CSO) is an international multi-disciplinary teams of circular economy experts and is at the core of the CCRI activities. They will implement the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative offering support to the cities, regions and territorial clusters that will be selected as Pilots and Fellows.

Project Objectives

Project Objectives

The CCRI Coordination and Support Office provides technical and comprehensive support over the whole life cycle of urban and regional circular economy initiatives of cities, regions and territorial clusters from Europe. Based on the selection results of an open call, 12 selected Pilots benefit from four years of knowledge-sharing with technical support to speed up their circular policy implementation. More specifically, the 12 Pilots will demonstrate and facilitate the replication of at least one Circular Systemic Solution in a specific territory. Furthermore, the 25 selected Fellows liaise to the Pilot group to engage in this multistakeholder learning process, liaising them with industry representatives, research and technology organisations and civil society stakeholders across Europe’s. CCRI is aiming for the highest ambition and best ideas to capitalise cross sectorial cooperation and innovation and the biggest potential for transferability of these Circular Systemic Solutions (CSS) to other cities, regions and territorial clusters.

More specifically, the CCRI-CSO:

  • supports cooperation, synergies and complementarities between the CCRI Pilots and Fellows, CCRI Projects, Associated Partners and other relevant stakeholders;
  • assists the CCRI Pilots with the development of their CSS, as well as supporting good practice exchange and upscaling;
  • analyses the main research and innovation gaps, but also the main policy, technical, regulatory barriers and drivers to circular economy transition at local and regional scale, and providing policy recommendations to overcome them;
  • presents lessons learned from CCRI-CSO activities for further dissemination, communication and awareness raising activities. 


ERRIN is pleased to count over 20 CCRI Pilots & Fellows selected from among ERRIN Member Regions.

ERRIN's Role

ERRIN is one of ten contracting partners in the European Circular Cities and Regions Initiative Coordination and Support Office and also manages the CCRI-Helpdesk. ERRIN assumes the Community Management’s role in setting up Multi-stakeholder dialogues during this four-year project, reaching out to cities and regions and maximising their growth in circular economy implementation.


  • Astrid Hannes
  • Project Manager
  • Gianpiero Petruzziello
  • Project and Communications Officer

Benefit & Links

Making circularity work for people, cities and regions, is one of the key ambitions of the New European Circular Economy Action Plan. With the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative, the European Commission provides an instrument for accelerating the transition to a circular economy on local and regional scale by providing key assistance to cities and regions. The Circular Cities and Regions Initiative complements the proposed European Urban Initiative and the Intelligent Cities Challenge Initiative. There will also be synergies with other policy frameworks, such as the Green Deal and the European Bioeconomy Strategy. Circular economy will also be among the priority areas of the Green City Accord.

The CCRI is the ideal steppingstone for cities and regions to gain first-hand information about funding opportunities and build their network to participate in the wider CCRI ecosystem, which also includes funding. These funding opportunities include €200 million for circular economy demonstration projects focusing on experimentation and at least €40 million for project development assistance with investment proposals applying for project development grants from Horizon Europe and Circular Economy Technical Assistance Facility grants from the European Investment Bank. While the demonstration grants are for experimental projects, the project development assistance targets mature initiatives at the beginning of their investment phase, speeding up the full-scale roll-out of these circular activities.


CCRI opportunities for ERRIN-members in 2024

2024 will offer some unique opportunities for ERRIN members to provide inputs for the 2025-2027 Work Programme of Horizon Europe, particularly for Cluster 6, and for future initiatives of the European Commission in the field of Circular EconomyTo that end, the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI), one of ERRIN's projects being the cooperation and support scheme of the European Commission, will organise a series of Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues. These dialogues aim to deepen the understanding of remaining Research & Innovation needs by engaging with key stakeholders from local and regional governments, researchers from academia and industry and organisations working at regional, national or EU level in the field of circular economy. 

Experts who are interested in participating in these Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues, are invited to express their interest by completing this survey. The European Commission will then select the shortlist of experts to invite depending on the topic.

Latest Updates

  • By Astrid Hannes

Extended deadline: Call for Circular Economy Experts providing personalised support for cities and regions

To better support the implementation of circular systemic solutions at the local and regional levels, the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative just launched a call for external experts who can offer personalised support to cities and regions. Experts should have at least five years of experience in the fields of stakeholder and citizen engagement, innovation and technology, business models and financial support, public procurement, or impact evaluation and can express their interest until 14 June 2024.

  • By Astrid Hannes

New CircularInvest call for project promotors aiming to increase the investment readiness of their local and regional circular economy projects

CircularInvest helps cities and regions implement circular strategies by removing obstacles and closing the gap between circular economy project promoters and investors. A new CircularInvest call has been launched for project promotors who want to increase the investment readiness level of their local and regional circular economy projects. The deadline for applications is 13 September 2024.

  • By Gianpiero Petruzziello

OECD Survey: The Circular Economy in Cities and Regions in the European Union

As part of the European Commission’s Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI), in which ERRIN is involved, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is investigating on how to further support cities and regions in their transition to a circular economy. To this end, they are inviting cities and regions to take a survey to identify ways to accelerate the circular economy transition in the context of the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan. Survey participants are encouraged to complete the survey by 25 March.

  • By Astrid Hannes

Expression of interest: Circular Cities and Regions Initiative Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues

The Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI), one of ERRIN's projects, is organising Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues in 2024-2025 to identify Research & Innovation Gaps that need to be bridged to boost the circular economy at the local and regional level. Experts are invited to express their interest in participating in the CCRI Dialogues to share their research and innovation needs and feed into the design of the Horizon Europe 2025-2027 calls.

  • By Astrid Hannes

CircularInvest Open Call: project development assistance for local and regional circular economy projects

A new CircularInvest call has been launched to help local and regional circular economy projects from across Europe become investment-ready and increase their chances to secure financial resources. CircularInvet offers free project development assistance including a variety of customised services based on the needs of project promotors. The call is open until 15 December.

  • By Astrid Hannes

Circular economy: improving design and end-of-life management of cars for more resource-efficient automotive sector

The Commission is proposing new measures to enhance the circularity of the automotive sector, covering the design, production and end-of-life treatment of vehicles. The proposed regulation is expected to have substantial environmental benefits, including an annual reduction of 12.3 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2035, better valorisation of 5.4 million tons of materials, and increased recovery of critical raw materials.