The EU in partnership with UNDP, promotes inclusive economic growth and innovation in the municipalities of the EaP countries

15 June 2021, We are excited to announce that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has started the implementation of the EU & UNDP Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) Facility (2021-2024). UNDP has country offices in 19 countries and territories in the Europe and Central Asia region, and close to 170 globally.

The Mayors Facility will focus on intermediate cities in the Eastern Partnership countries. We intend to work closely with local authorities in the region to explore and discover innovative ways to sustainable development, and expand the network.

Please see here a brief overview of the Mayors Facility 2021-2024.

Cities in the network will benefit from training and capability development as well as knowledge exchange activities focused around development of innovative growth strategies, that are highly contextualized and build on local ecosystems. This will entail support in developing a new generation of local economic development plans (LEDPs), strategic thinking and building urban resilience. Local authorities will benefit from new capabilities and access to funding addressing issues related to green recovery after the pandemic crisis – by integrating urban planning, gender responsiveness and innovation at the local level.

To support the implementation of local economic plans, together with the EU, we will introduce an approach that is currently piloting within UNDP itself on portfolio design and management. This method builds on the assumption that the world is complex and operates through systems (e.g. the market, climate change, inequalities, and so on). These systems that we operate within consist of a myriad of agents with different ambitions, interests and values, and hence we cannot fully predict behaviors nor are there any ‘right’ solutions waiting to be discovered. With this mindset, the proposed method will support municipalities in building programs that incorporate a systems lens – addressing challenges from multiple angles, designing initiatives that are coherent and connected, and practice agile and adaptive management.

Learning materials on innovative methods to local development will be made available to all members of the network through a new Urban Learning Center. Cities with developed LEDPs will gain access to EUR14 million in diverse funding opportunities, combined through EU and EU&UNDP M4EG funding calls. These calls are:

  • EU M4EG Call for Proposals, closed on 6 April 2021, evaluation of proposals are ongoing, with a total of EUR 10m. For more information, see here.
  • Annual Portfolio Call for Interests (estimated June-July 2021), followed by an Annual Call for Proposals. These are expected to be held on an annual basis. Estimated total of EUR 2.8m.
  • Annual Innovation Call for Proposals (estimated fall 2021). Estimated total of EUR 1.2m.

More details on the above components of the new phase will be communicated to all members of the network in due time.

We plan to invite all members of the network to interactive Country Launches in early summer 2021.

We are looking forward to continuing the wonderful work that has already been underway in Eastern Partnership countries.


Media enquiries

Anton Sydorenko, M4EG Communications Lead,

For other enquiries, please contact us through


The Mayors for Economic Growth Facility is a follow up of the Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) initiative, launched by the European Union (EU) in 2017 to support Mayors and municipalities of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries to become active facilitators for sustainable economic growth and job creation.

On 30 April 2021, the EU and UNDP held an internal launch where Professor John Kay, one of Britain’s leading economists, gave a keynote presentation around his latest book “Radical Uncertainty” focusing on decision-making in a complex world.

About UNDP

As the United Nations lead agency on international development, UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. UNDP helps countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities, and to build resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our work is concentrated in three focus areas; sustainable development, democratic governance and peace building, and climate and disaster resilience. Read more about UNDP here.