Against the backdrop of increasing territorial disparities and a growing urban-rural divide, the EU’s working-age population has overall decreased by 3.5 million people between 2015 and 2020 and is expected to shed an additional 35 million people by 2050. 82 regions in 16 Member States (accounting for almost 30% of the EU population) are severely affected by this decrease, as well as by a low share of university and higher-education graduates, and by a negative mobility of their population aged 15-39, finding themselves in the so-called ‘talent development trap’.

The newly launched Harnessing Talent Platform of the European Commission will serve as the go-to place for the EU’s action in addressing all these demographic challenges. Through the Platform, the Commission will promote events and best practices, as well as access to technical assistance and advice to regions in need, including a dedicated helpdesk. The Harnessing Talent Platform will ensure that the impacted regions receive the guidance and information they need to develop and implement tailored and comprehensive plans to train, attract and retain talents.

The Commission is also launching a call for expression of interest for EU, national and regional stakeholders to join 4 working groups focused on health, digital, research and innovation, and territorial development. Interested parties can apply until 15 September. The input gathered will serve to guide regions’ potential actions to tackle brain drain and to harness talent.

More information on how to join the Wokring Groups

Second Call for Proposals EUI – Innovative Actions

With an indicative budget of EUR 120 million ERDF, the second Call for Proposals of EUI – Innovative Actions is targeting innovative projects focusing on three topics. The call is open until 5th October 2023 @14h00 CEST. Cities, this is your chance to be bold, take risks and get ready to share new innovative solutions!

This Second Call is open to all EU cities. The projects must focus on one of the following three topics:

  • ‘Greening Cities’, to experiment and deliver tangible innovative solutions on green infrastructure to better address biodiversity, pollution, resource and climate challenges, highly contributing to the green and just transition under the Cohesion policy investments.
  • ‘Sustainable Tourism’, to support long-term green and digital transformation and resilience of the tourism ecosystem. For this topic, we aim primarily to improve conditions for both residents and visitors of the city.
  • ‘Harnessing talent in shrinking cities’, particularly in regions identified by the European Commission in the Communication ‘Harnessing talent in Europe’s regions’, to retain and attract talent.

More information on the Call