2015 – 2016

During 2015-2016, the World Cities Project implemented several working meetings and study visits in ChinaIndiaJapanCanada and Europe. World Cities ultimate goal is to strengthen market opportunities and job creation while pursuing the sustainable economic development of the cities involved, thus fostering win-win cooperation.

The project was implemented by two different contractors. For detailed information on the project’s background and approach, please refer to the section “About“.

Results for the EU-China and EU-India Cooperation


From March 2015 until April 2016, a total of 28 events was carried out, 17 within the EU-China framework and 11 within the EU-India mechanism. Additional activities supported by the programme included remarkable milestones like the Italian Week, a B2B and B2C event organised between the Region of Lazio and the City of Tianjin that involved over 30 Italian policy and business representatives under the leadership of the Regional Minister of Economy Prof. Guido Fabiani. The project also supported business missions to China (from innovative start-ups and the automotive sector). On the policy side, the World Cities team was also able to strongly support the EU-China High Level Meeting on Regional Policy held during the EU-China Summit in June 2015, two High-Level Visits of NDRC to Europe (including the Vice-Chairman and the Deputy Secretary General of NDRC) and to co-organise the World Cities Workshop held within the Open Days on Regional Policy in October 2015.


Thanks to synergies created with other initiatives as well as to support from the Chinese and Indian cities involved in the activities, the programme fully financed or co-financed participation of 199 experts from the involved European (85), Chinese (93) and Indian (20) cities. This number of participants was considerably higher than originally scheduled and was achieved also thanks to the cooperation with regional and local authorities in Europe, China and India. Moreover, the project also involved 83 external participants through activities like the Italian Week in Tianjin, the visit of the European Parliament’s delegation to China and the visit of the Tianjin Commerce Commission to Lyon and Barcelona. By these means, the project ensured a triple-helix cooperation between representatives from local and regional governments, business and research institutions. Due to the large number of participants in the kick-off and closing conferences in China and India (more than 300), about 500 experts participated in the activities.

Pilot projects:

22 Pilot projects between European and Chinese cities
  • Areas include environmental technologies, urban development (smart-city), university & research cooperation, aerospace, health care, agribusiness, food certification, energy efficiency/low carbon development, etc.
  • 14 MoUs signed (additionally to the more than 20 from the CETREGIO cooperation). Many of them are B2B (e.g. Fira de Barcelona – Tianfu New District for Chengdu Smart City Congress)
12 Pilot projects between European and Indian cities
  • Areas include waste management, sewage treatment, urban development, smart-city, etc.
  • MoUs intended between Chandigarh and Copenhagen (CLEAN) and Mumbai and Stuttgart.

Activities implemented during 2015 and 2016 for the cooperation of European cities and regions with counterparts in China and India include:

  1. EU-China: Barcelona fact-finding mission to Tianjin (20 – 23 March 2015)
  2. EU-China: West Midlands / Birmingham mission to Tianjin and Guangzhou (27 April to 02 May 2015)
  3. EU-China: Barcelona and Dublin mission to Chengdu and Wuhan (05 to 12 May 2015)
  4. EU-China: Italian Week in Tianjin (17 – 24 May 2015)
  5. EU-India: Kick-Off conference in Mumbai (24 – 25 May 2015)
  6. EU-India: Working meeting of delegates from Stuttgart and Lazio in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai (26 – 29 May 2015)
  7. EU-India: Visit of Copenhagen to Chandigarh (28 – 30 May 2015)
  8. EU-China: Tianjin Delegation visit to Barcelona and Lyon (16 – 19 June 2015)
  9. EU-China: Lyon mission to Guangzhou (25 to 27 June 2015)
  10. EU-China: Chinese pilot cities’ visits to Brussels, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Malaga, Lazio and West Midlands (22 – 30 June 2015)
  11. EU-China: NDRC High-Level Mission (Vice Chairman HE Lifeng) to Belgium and Ireland (22 – 26 June 2015)
  12. EU-China: EU – China High Level Seminar on Regional Policy (Brussels, 29 June 2015)
  13. EU-China: Tianjin mission to Frankfurt and Lazio (21 – 26 September 2015)
  14. EU-China: NDRC High Level visit (Deputy General Secretary Fan Hengshan) to Brussels and Croatia (11 – 18 October 2015)
  15. EU-India: Follow-up visit of Indian delegates from Pune, Navi Mumbai and Mumbai to Brussels, Stuttgart, Bologna and Milan (11 – 17 October 2015)
  16. EU-India / EU-China: Contents support of DG REGIO for the World Cities workshop held within the Open Days on EU Regional and Urban Policy in Brussels (13 October 2015)
  17. EU-China: Support to a Sino-German fact finding mission of Dalian DRC to Rome (14 – 16 October 2015)
  18. EU-China: Mission of European start-ups to Beijing, Wuhan and Chengdu (21 – 30 October 2015)
  19. EU-India: Mission of Indian experts from Chandigarh to Brussels and Copenhagen (25 – 31 October 2015)
  20. EU-China: Contents and on-the-spot support to the mission of the EU Parliament (MEP van Nistelrooij, MEP Martina Werner, etc.) to Shanghai (05 Nov 2015)
  21. EU-China: Support to China-Italy Innovation Week in Beijing Chongqing and Tianjin (16 – 20 November 2015)
  22. EU-India: Follow-up visit from Copenhagen to Chandigarh, also involving all delegates from Stuttgart and Lazio (17 – 20 January 2016)
  23. EU-India: Follow-up visit of experts from Andalucía Smart City Cluster to Pune (20 – 22 January 2016)
  24. EU-India: World Cities conference in Mumbai (22-23 January 2016)
  25. EU-India: Visit of Chandigarh’s Municipal Commissioner (Mr Purushartha) to Copenhagen, (29 February – 02 March 2016)
  26. EU-China: World Cities follow-up event in Chengdu (13 – 17 March 2016)
  27. EU-China: World Cities conference in Chengdu and Shantou (17 – 20 March 2016)
  28. EU-China: B2B visit of Catalan automotive cluster to Wuhan (14 – 15 April 2016)

For a detailed summary of the events, please refer to the corresponding sections.