From today (8 April), cities across the EU and Horizon Europe-associated countries are invited to apply to join the EU Cities Mission’s peer exchange programme and speed up their journey towards climate neutrality.  

Facilitated by NetZeroCities, the consortium currently managing the Cities Mission platform, the Twinning Learning Programme will pair applicants with second cohort of ‘Pilot Cities’ on the Mission, who act as innovation hubs, to pursue activities related to rapid decarbonisation. 

Cities are twinned according to common circumstances and challenges, allowing them to benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience. In turn, this shared learning can be distributed back across the Mission network for other cities to access, accelerating their efforts on climate action. 

The cities accepted to the 20-month programme will also have access to world-class practitioners and experts to facilitate learning opportunities, as well as financial support for reciprocal visits with their paired city. After completion, Twin Cities will embed their learning from pilot activities across the city via an Action Plan. 

Applications are welcomed until 31 May from cities that are not already part of the Cities Mission or its ongoing Pilot and Twinning programmes. 

In September 2023, 40 cities from across Europe were announced as the  first cohort of Twin Cities, joining the growing network of cities engaging with the EU Cities Mission to make more than 100 cities climate neutral by 2030. 

Commenting on her experience in the first cohort of the programme, Kristina Kebeck, a research associate at the Climate Coordination Office in Cologne, said:

“Our programme was a successful mix of professional exchange and networking. We experienced the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz during a bicycle excursion early in the morning on Day 1 (with slightly over zero degrees…) and a walk-around the medieval city centre in the evening. In workshop-blocks our project partners form Vitoria-Gasteiz, Barcelona and Valencia, as well as the twin city, Soria, presented their projects and lessons learned. We had a great time exchanging and learning from each other, e.g. on the issue on how to get citizens involved in the rehabilitation of buildings. In interactive workshop sessions, we commonly drafted an action plan for Soria and us, Cologne, to implement proximity offices according to our needs. What a blast!”

Download press release here.



  1. Eligibility criteria for cities include: 
    • Being located in EU countries or associated countries of Horizon Europe 
    • A commitment to 2050 climate neutrality 
    • Not being part of the EU Cities Mission, and not yet being a Twin or Pilot City
  1. Guidance and application documents are available here.   

Press contact: Alan MacKenzie –