Our projects

Capacity building for European Capitals of Culture

The ‘Capacity Building for European Capitals of Culture’ project was initiated by the European Commission to support capacity building and peer-learning activities for ECOCs.

It aims at supporting ECOCs through a wide range of activities, which include:

- Mapping of the capacity building needs of the delivery bodies of present and future ECOCs,

- Building a pool of multi-disciplinary EU wide expertise to cover the identified capacity needs,

- Organisation of ECOCs Academy Camps, and

- Delivery of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and webinars, with the development of further toolkits and training material.

These activities aim to provide ECOCs with practical support where skill gaps have been identified, with a robust technical assistance structure, a set of tools, materials, practical and theoretical expertise and knowledge while enhancing networking opportunities for the ECOC delivery teams.

Led by AEIDL, the consortium brings together key European organisations representing the cultural sectors across the European Union.

  • Contracting body: European Commission
  • Duration: 30 months starting in October 2019

Production and implementation of Local Action Plans within URBACT networks

The main goal of the study is to report and share what URBACT has achieved at city level in a selection of partner cities (call 1 and call 2) and what has been the impact of their participation in the programme, i.e. what has become of their Local Action Plans (LAP) and URBACT Local Support Groups (LSG) after the end of the network activities.

The idea is to tell the story of what has happened with the implementation of the LAP as a starting point, along the various types of integrated approaches (horizontal, vertical, integration from inside, etc.), and to see whether and how the Local Support Group (LSG) dynamic has spread in other parts of city planning.

Ten cities are explored: Bialystok (Poland), Riga (Latvia), Regensburg (Germany), Naples (Italy), Limoges (France), Köbanya (Hungary), Sabadell (Spain), Södertälje (Sweden), Glasgow (UK), Kavala (Greece).

  • Contracting body: URBACT Secretariat (Paris, France)
  • Duration: January-September 2015

Good practice in urban development

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional Policy (DG REGIO) has chosen AEIDL to do a study on “Good practice in urban development: projects and approaches supported by the ERDF during the 2007-2013 programming period”.

With this study, DG REGIO wishes to “provide a basic input for communicating how cities may best address urban development within programmes supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and provide guidance for the urban dimension in the future cohesion policy.”

AEIDL’s tasks will include the analysis and dissemination of 50 examples of good practice according to six thematic areas: 1. Sustainable urban projects delivering the Europe 2020 strategy; 2. Implementation of sustainable integrated urban development operations under Article 8 of the 2007-2013 ERDF Regulation;3. Use of regulatory provisions in the fields of housing in favour of marginalised groups and their implementation in urban areas; 4. Use of financial engineering; 5. Local empowerment and public participation; 6. The role of cooperation, networking and learning.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy
  • Duration: 2011-2013

Access to the case studies

Helpdesk of the European Evaluation Network for Rural Development

Through the European Economic Interest Group (EEIG) RurEval, AEIDL has joined forces with the Austrian company Metis (formerly ÖIR-Managementdienste GmbH) to facilitate the dissemination of good practices and the acquisition of skills in evaluating rural development programmes.

In January 2008, the European Commission's DG Agriculture commissioned RurEval to assist it in setting up and managing the helpdesk of the European Evaluation Network for Rural Development.

The purpose of this network of experts is to promote the use of evaluation in the development and implementation of rural development policies. It is expected to contribute to the introduction of best practices and to enhance skills in the evaluation of rural development programmes. The idea is to make greater use of monitoring and evaluation with a view to improving the design and implementation of rural development policies.

The network has a central point of contact (helpdesk) for collecting all information relating to evaluation. Located in the AEIDL offices, this "Evaluation Helpdesk" provides advice and support on evaluation methods and tools, as well as collecting data. It also supports the European Commission and the Member States in their activities relating to ad hoc evaluation reports.

The Evaluation Helpdesk consists of a permanent team located in Brussels, supported by some 20 experts based throughout the 27 Member States. These experts have specialist knowledge of evaluation and rural development measures and programmes. Thematic working groups have also been set up to examine and update know-how on key subject areas such as organic farming, impacts on the environment and employment, and evaluation of the LEADER approach.

  • Destinataire: European Commission, Directorate-General for Agriculture
  • Partner: Metis GmbH
  • Duration: 2008-2013

RUR@CT: transferring best regional practices in rural development

Identifying and documenting good practices in rural development at regional level and facilitating their transfer throughout Europe ... these are the objectives of the RUR@CT network.

RUR@CT is a network of some 20 European regions interested in transferring regional best practices in rural development. The lead partner in the network, the Limousin region (France), selected the partnership consisting of RCT (Réseau Conseil en développement Territorial), XPS Développement and AEIDL to establish and provide content for the RUR@CT resource centre.

Split into three phases, covering the period between April 2008 and the end of 2010, AEIDL was contracted to:

  • compile a number of tools (questionnaires, thesaurus, factsheet templates, etc.) for use in gathering and processing the best practices;
  • identify and propose best practices in rural development at regional level;
  • draft about a hundred presentations of these best practices on the basis of three types of factsheets (the first outlining the project, the second the terms under which it can be transferred, and the third the result of any transfer);
  • deliver final versions of some 200 factsheets in French and English;
  • initiate or participate in PR activities promoting the RUR@CT network.

  • Client: Conseil régional du Limousin (France)
  • Partners: RCT and XPS Développement (France)
  • Duration: 2008-2010

InfoREGIO: Production and dissemination of DG Regional Policy publications

Between 2002 and 2007, AEIDL was responsible for the production and dissemination of the main publications of the European Commission's DG for Regional Policy ("DG REGIO").

In March 2002, DG REGIO and AEIDL signed a contract for "services pertaining to publication and information activities in the area of EU regional and cohesion policy”. In the framework of this contract, AEIDL was responsible for the editing, production coordination and dissemination of about a dozen well-known publications, including:

  • the monthly newsletter InfoREGIO News (until n°270),
  • the InfoREGIO Panorama magazine (until n°25),
  • the series Structural Policies and European Territory (a showcase of European regional policy by country or topic), as well as factsheets for the Regional Development Atlas,
  • various guides, reports and other ad hoc DG REGIO publications.

To fulfil this contract, AEDL engaged a large number of journalists, translators and rewriters, as most DG REGIO publications are produced in all of the official languages of the EU.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy
  • Duration: 2002-2007

URBACT communications

Between 2003 and 2006, the Délégation Interministérielle à la Ville (Interministerial Delegation on Urban Policy), the agency responsible for managing URBACT, the European urban development programme, entrusted AEIDL with several information/communication tasks.

As part of European cohesion policy, URBACT is a European exchange programme for sustainable urban development. URBACT enables cities to work together on tackling the major issues of urban policy and to affirm their role in the face of the increasingly complex challenges now confronting our societies. URBACT provides support in promoting innovative and sustainable solutions to economic, social and environmental challenges in urban areas. The network enables the sharing of best practices and know-how by facilitating exchanges between urban planning experts throughout Europe. In 2010, URBACT covered 300 cities in 29 countries, with 5 000 people actively involved.

AEIDL was selected to:

  • help define a communication strategy;
  • act as the editorial secretariat for the internet site of the URBACT programme, producing its monthly electronic newsletter (with subscribers receiving an e-alert of each new edition), an annual special issue of the "Urbanism" magazine, and various other ad hoc publications;
  • manage and develop its subscriber lists.

  • Client: Délégation Interministérielle à la Ville (France)
  • Duration: 2003-2006

AEIDL / LEADER: Coordinating Unit and Rural Development Observatory

For ten years, AEIDL coordinated the implementation of the LEADER programme, the EU’s pilot programme for rural development.

From 1991 to 2001, AEIDL was responsible for setting up and managing the EU-funded LEADER (Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l’Economie Rurale) programme.

Launched in 1990 by the European Commission, LEADER supported the (re) development of rural areas through innovative approaches and projects.

After managing the LEADER I Coordinating Unit between 1991 and 1994, AEIDL went on to run the "European Observatory for Rural Development" under LEADER II from 1995 until 2001. AEIDL was responsible for:

  • coordinating a network of more than 1 000 "local action groups" (LAGs) and 12 national coordinating units;
  • providing methodological assistance to transnational cooperation projects between LAGs (more than 300 transnational partnerships were supported);
  • providing technical support to 102 regional administrations in "mainstreaming" or integrating best practices and lessons learned from LEADER into their rural policies;
  • the compilation and publication of several hundred different documents (technical studies, methodology guidelines, the "Atlas of Rural Development", lists of innovative actions, newsletters, magazines, brochures, etc.), many of which remain reference works in the area of rural development;
  • the organisation of a large number of different events (workshops, seminars, symposia. etc.), ranging in size from 20 to 2 000 participants, both in Brussels and in numerous rural areas throughout the EU;
  • setting up and managing the databases and websites;
  • the promotion of LEADER and participation in numerous exhibitions, including ones outside the EU.

LEADER, the European rural development laboratory

Against a background of major changes, the LEADER Community Initiative has enabled new paths to be taken in rural development. These can now be seen as the beginning of a response to the task of revitalising rural areas.

By favouring a "bottom-up" approach to development, the LEADER programme highlighted the importance of consultation and the involvement of rural populations. Using a multi-sectoral approach and seeking to exploit the specific assets of each territory, LEADER also underlined the importance of local strategies for sustainable development.

This new approach was accompanied by a major mobilisation of local communities, facilitated by local partnerships that brought together local organisations with high-level technical teams and supported a host of projects targeting a wide range of issues, etc.

Tailored to the needs and assets of each locality, the LEADER approach facilitated the emergence of numerous innovative solutions, in terms of both the methods and the actions involved. It opened up new development paths for rural areas in difficulty, and made a significant contribution to creating new employment and income opportunities.

In its pursuit of innovation, the EU's LEADER initiative opened the window to the rural world. It supported rural areas in the process of modernisation and in developing new solutions, while also highlighting existing experiences. It opened up to the outside world, rural areas in the process of being totally transformed.

LEADER was also an important factor in defining and promoting awareness of the specific features of the European rural model.

Finally, by encouraging experimentation in relation to new possibilities available to rural communities, LEADER acted as a "laboratory" for the development and updating of the Common Agricultural Policy and other rural policies.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Agriculture
  • Duration: 1991-2001


As part of a consortium consisting of NEA (coordination), KIT, ISIS, ITC, IGES and DEMIS, AEIDL is involved in the TRKC 2.0 project, now renamed "TRIP", supported by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE).

The purpose of TRIP is to continue the already existing Transport Research Knowledge Centre (TRKC) portal which aims at giving a complete picture of all finished and ongoing EU-funded transport research projects, as well as becoming a central information point on current national and regional transport research priorities and programmes.

Within TRIP, AEIDL is in charge of various editorial and dissemination tasks.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport
  • Partners: NEA Transport research & training (Netherlands), KIT (Germany), ISIS (Italy), ITC (Bulgaria), IGES (Germany) and Demis (Netherlands)
  • Duration: 2011-2013

Go to the portal

"Local development laboratories on cohesion policy"

In 2008, the European Commission's DG Regional Policy undertook a review of intervention mechanisms and of the advantages of the local development approach.

As part of this exercise, AEIDL and ADETEF (Association pour le Développement des Échanges en Technologies Économiques et Financières) were awarded the contract to carry out desk research (grey literature and seminal texts) and to identify and conduct eight case studies.

AEIDL also participated in the organisation of two "Local Development Laboratories" in early 2010, bringing together some 30 specialists from the European Union.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy
  • Partner: ADETEF (France)
  • Duration: 2009-2010

“Territorial development policies and practices in four non-European Union countries: USA, China, South Korea and Brazil”

This was a study commissioned by the French Interministerial Delegation on Territorial Development (DATAR).

The task involved:

  • Supporting DATAR and its partners in gaining a better insight into the regional development and competitiveness policies and practices of four non-EU countries;
  • Identifying the priority given to territorial development in these countries' policies;
  • Identifying the practices, organisational and innovatory management aspects, and key success and performance factors likely to inspire or encourage pilot schemes or transfers of experience;
  • Proposing the establishment of a network of national correspondents for monitoring and updating knowledge on these policies, and for initiating and/or pursuing cooperation projects with these countries.

The core activities consisted of compiling profiles of each country, outlining the general intervention framework, assessing issues relating to territorial attractiveness and competitiveness, sustainable development, as well as metropolitan issues. The findings identified certain innovative tools and examined which elements were transferable to the French situation.

  • Client: DATAR (France)
  • Duration: 2009



South Korea


"The Future of Rural Europe"

AEIDL was entrusted with the presentation of "The Future of Rural Europe" at the European Summit of Young Farmers (Etropole, Bulgaria, 8 August 2009), which was organised by the International Movement for Catholic Agricultural and Rural Youth (IMCARY / MIJARC).

The presentation triggered a debate with participants revolving around four main issues:

  • the main developments in rural areas in Europe over the last 20 years;
  • the impacts of EU policies promoting agriculture and rural development (CAP, LEADER);
  • the significant changes in young people's ways of life in rural communities;
  • the main challenges facing rural areas in the next 10 years.

  • Client: MIJARC
  • Duration: 2009

COESIMA: European Cooperation on Major Tourist Sites

AEIDL was made responsible for the external evaluation of an INTERREG IIIC project on cultural tourism.

The COESIMA project (Coopération Européenne de Sites Majeurs d’Accueil) included seven partners from various countries (France, where the Lourdes Développement agency was the project leader, Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Greece and Poland). The aim of COESIMA was to jointly promote the tourist sites concerned, and to present a tourism product adapted to visitor requirements, particularly the disabled.

The evaluation was carried out in three stages: the setting up of the monitoring mechanism; monitoring the project implementation; and the overall assessment report and recommendations.

  • Client: COESIMA
  • Duration: 2004-2007

Territorial Employment Pacts

The Territorial Employment Pacts programme was launched by the European Commission in December 1996.

AEIDL was contracted to develop a methodology for selecting and examining best practices, as well as for developing and providing content for the programme's website.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy
  • Duration: 1996-1999

Pilot projects - Article 10 of the ERDF

AEIDL played a key role in the coordination of this programme.

AEIDL was responsible for the selection and monitoring of pilot projects under Article 10 of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as well as for the production of network coordination and communication tools for the four themes of Article 10: new sources of employment, culture, innovation and the information society.

  • Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy
  • Duration: 1996-1999