URBIS – Urban Investment Support – meeting in Strasbourg on January 18th
The last meeting of the URBAN Intergroup, which took place in Strasbourg on Thursday January 18th, was dedicated to URBIS – Urban Investment Support. This new advisory service for cities in planning investments was launched in Rotterdam at the Cities Forum in November last year by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The aim was not to create a completely new advisory hub but rather to merge existing forms of support and advice for cities in a more holistic way. That is why URBIS is a result of collaborate efforts within EIB to bring all urban elements in one place on a web page hosted on existing European Investment Advisory Hub.
On one hand, URBIS will provide advice to cities and their partners to improve a city’s investment strategy (advice in strategic planning, prioritising, optimising of investment programmes and projects). On the other hand, it will focus on investment support by exploring opportunities for financing under the ESIF and EFSI or by bringing projects and investment programmes to a bankable stage.
URBIS is dedicated to a targeted audience: urban authorities of minimum 20 000 inhabitants. However, smaller cities can apply as well if they put together common programme of projects. EIB advice will be given for an integrated investment progr
amme with a short or medium-term time-horizon, typically 3-5 years. Investment projects should be typically over €20 million, but can include programmes of smaller projects.
This Urban Investment Support is a pilot project which will be assessed by the EIB and the European Commission quite soon (second half of 2018) in order to see if this type of special focused advise for cities is useful and demanded.
During the discussion, MEPs positively acknowledge the mission of URBIS. They will take into consideration its future assessment. Moreover, they stressed the importance of conditionality in getting the URBIS advise in order to create cities’ ownership and commitment for supported projects.
More information about URBIS