Eastern Partnership municipalities gather to showcase half year progress under the Mayors for Economic Growth Facility

The Show&Tell platform is set to engage with the Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) network and hear the learning from the municipalities involved “deep” by implementing demonstration projects. In this round, 13 cities and towns shared how to design “portfolios” and apply “urban imaginaries”.

Baku, Chisinau, Kutaisi, YerevanThe European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the new Show&Tell platform designed for peer-to-peer sharing of the M4EG network throughout the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region.

Today, Mayors and their teams from Areni, Alaverdi, Ashtarak, Batumi, Cahul, Călărași, Ceadîr-Lunga, Charentsavan, Kutaisi, Poti, Rustavi, Samtredia, Tskaltubo shared what they have learned through their journey and outline their next steps.

“Portfolio approach is a new opportunity and framework of designing and implementing development interventions in our community, which at first helps us to assess needs and available resources better, then to develop new approaches and more efficient interventions, as well as to develop our team-work and citizen engagement capabilities,”  said Mr. Husik Sahakyan, Areni Mayor.

“With green interventions, Kutaisi promotes green circular economy – eco-smart transformation stimulates well-being of all,” said Mr. Ioseb Khakhaleishvili, the mayor of Georgia’s Kutaisi, hosting the event. “We are starting the eco-smart future-ready city today. We can say that’s an old city with new opportunities.”

“The challenges and ideas found in the co-designing process showed us that Rustavi is not afraid of innovations,” said Revaz Barbakadze, Core Team Member, Rustavi.

The thematic focus for the deep engagement modalities with cities is “Urban makeover – reimagining the city by creating a responsive, resilient and sustainable urban space’. It focuses on identifying ways to create vibrant communities and economic opportunities with innovative approaches.

“EaP municipalities are defining their future now while more and more unprecedented challenges occur. By supporting growth and jobs, investments in connectivity, the green and digital transitions, as well as promoting fair, gender-equal, and inclusive societies, M4EG mirrors our goals and mutual vision in the region,” said Thibault Charlet, Programme Manager, Digital and Local Economic Development, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR).

“Today we celebrate and recognize the members of the M4EG who have shown commitment and drive these past months in learning about new approaches, applying a system lens or human centered design to challenges at the local level. We hope their sharing can act as an inspiration to their peers and demonstrate that the local municipalities can take an even more active role in shaping their towns and cities for the better. The M4EG is that invitation to build new muscles to adapt to a rapidly changing world,” commented Tina Stoum, M4EG Regional Lead at UNDP. 

The M4EG portfolio journey seeks to address the complexity of development challenges by supporting the initiatives of local authorities and bringing additional capabilities to the local level. By now, the portfolio journey engages four cities (Areni, Batumi, Kutaisi and Ceadîr-Lunga) in the EaP countries to design and dynamically manage a municipal transformation portfolio, adaptive learning, and decision-making mechanism for responding to complex challenges.

Nine municipalities selected for the Urban Imaginaries programme presented their ongoing work on the improvement of public transportation, economic and infrastructure development, and waste management. Representatives of the Association of Ukrainian Cities spoke about their experience with managing the cities during the unfolding crisis. The event also announced the winners of the Call for Interest in Azerbaijan, where two cities were selected for Portfolio Journey, and four for Urban Imaginaries.


The M4EG Facility draws on the Mayors for Economic Growth Initiative, launched, and funded by the European Union in 2017. Starting from 2021, the M4EG Facility – funded by the EU – has been managed by UNDP in close cooperation with the EU, local authorities, and a range of partners.

For media inquiries:

For the European Commission/DG NEAR:

Mr. Thibault Charlet, Programme Manager, Digital and Local Economic Development, DG NEAR Unit C1, thibault.charlet@ec.europa.eu


Mrs. Laurence Lessire, Regional Communications Specialist, laurence.lessire@undp.org

Ms. Svetla Baeva, Communications Lead, Innovation Team Istanbul Regional Hub, svetla.baeva@undp.org

Mr. Anton Sydorenko, M4EG Facility Communications Lead, anton.sydorenko@undp.org