Local Leaders for the Next Generation

Implementing more ambitious energy-climate initiatives to speed up decarbonisation with the help of EU funding.


CEE countries – EU member states which were part of the former Eastern bloc – can draw on a lot of untapped potential when it comes to energy transition. For instance, Next Generation EU and the new EU budget provide unprecedented funding to central and eastern Europe to close the energy transition gap if the region uses innovative investment models. However, ambitious climate and energy policies’ social and economic impacts are often seen as negative, with their advantages not made visible enough. Hence, local authorities need guidance and training for practical solutions and high-quality EU-funded project development. Moreover, already existing transformative initiatives in CEE need to be more included and made more visible.


Advocating for just transition in central and eastern Europe, Photo: ©Bankwatch


The project’s goal is to speed up the CEE region’s energy transition and decarbonisation – namely in Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, and Slovakia – with the use of EU funds. It analyses local needs, potentials, and benefits of climate investments. Furthermore, it aims to inspire local communities and authorities by providing good solutions examples from the region and Germany. Through direct cooperation and guidance, it encourages and educates local authorities to become energy transition leaders and exchange practices to reach the EU Green Deal goals. In cooperation with national governments, municipalities, and civil society, it builds capacities to train local actors to become multipliers of transition, get involved in EU funds implementation, and promote good-quality energy solutions. To reach this goal, the project builds synergies with European allies, such as members of the European Parliament and the European Commission as well as civil society.

Project information

Updated: April 2023

Countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia

Project duration: 12/22 - 05/24

Funding: 566,259 €

Target groups: Cities, towns and municipalities, Civil Society, Governments

Implementing organisation:
CEE Bankwatch Network

Project Partners:
E3G – Third Generation Environmentalism

Project Website:

Contact Person

Mrs Milena Antonowicz

Organisation: CEE Bankwatch Network

Heřmanova 1088/8
Prague 7, 170 00
Czech Republic

Email: mainbankwatch.org


This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI call for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.


European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
Potsdamer Platz 10
10785 Berlin – Germany

Tel.: +49 (0)30 338424 570