• The EIB and the European Commission have decided to scale-up the Circular City Centre - C3, a competence and resource centre that provides free advisory services to support EU cities in their circular transition.
  • C3 helps cities advance their circular economy transition by developing strategies and by identifying and preparing relevant projects.
  • The successful pilot phase of C3 has already identified more than 20 circular projects in seven EU cities.

At the World Circular Economy Forum 2024, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission announced the upscaling of the Circular City Centre – C3. C3 is a competence and resource centre that supports cities in their transition to a circular economy – one where products and materials are used for as long as possible and waste is minimised. Following a 15-month pilot phase, C3 will now broaden its scope and continue until 2027 at least. C3 is funded under the InvestEU Advisory Hub mandate.

A multidisciplinary team of EIB and external experts deliver the services available under C3, which include the preparation of guidance documents and other tools, as well as bilateral advisory support and technical assistance to help cities improve circularity, resource efficiency and waste minimisation. Advisory support from C3 is available free of charge for cities and for other public entities working on projects with and on behalf of cities.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, responsible for financing environment, climate action and the circular economy remarked: “The pilot phase of the Circular City Centre was a success, and I am delighted that its services will now be scaled up, thanks to the InvestEU programme, to benefit even more cities across the European Union. As the circular economy is still in its infancy, advisory support is key to developing the knowledge, skills and strategies that will get the right projects off the ground.”

The four streams of C3 activity

The upscaled C3 will focus on four streams of activity:

  • Raising circular awareness and mobilising cities to start or progress in their circular transition, with guidance documents and other resources, tools and expertise
  • Sharing knowledge about the circular economy through events and broad-based communication
  • Delivering advisory programmes to help cities develop circular economy strategies, and identify and prepare circular projects
  • Supporting cities with tailored advice for developing these projects

Interested entities can find useful resources and tools to support their projects or activities on the C3 web page. The C3 team can be contacted at C3@eib.org.


C3 pilot phase

During its 15-month pilot phase, C3 published four guidance documents and successfully worked with seven cities to help them prepare circular economy strategies and relevant projects to be financed and implemented. Through direct collaboration with the seven pilot cities, more than 20 circular projects were identified in sectors like water, the built environment, food waste and textiles. One city has initiated the process to receive EIB financing for some of these projects.

Background information

In the last five years (2019-2023), the EIB has provided €3.8 billion to co-finance circular economy projects in a variety of sectors.

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable recovery. It brings together under one roof the multitude of EU financial instruments currently available to support investment in the European Union, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme consists of three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal.

The InvestEU Advisory Hub, through advisory support offered to project developers, improves the quality of investment projects and their alignment with the EU long term policy goals.