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    SURE: Sustainable Urban Energy in the ENPI region – Towards the Covenant of Mayors

    January 2010 - December 2012

    Interakcia was coordinating the project’s activities as an expert organization

    Budget: € 791 725; EU contribution – € 616 725 (78% of total);

    Funding: European Union through the CIUDAD Programme (Cooperation in Urban Development and Dialogue)

    Location: Polotsk, Vitebsk region, Belarus; the city of Salé (Morocco).

    Project partners: city administrations of Polotsk (Belarus), Friedrichshafen (Germany), Murcia (Spain), Salé (Morocco), and Intermediterranean Commission of the Conference on Peripheral Maritime Regions (France).

    The project’s main achievement was encouraging two cities from Belarus and Morocco  (Polotsk and Salé, accordingly) to become these countries’ first signatories of the Covenant of Mayors and develop their own Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) until 2020 in accordance with the EU standards.

    Thanks to the project experience, Polotsk city administration and Interakcia Foundation succeeded in securing more grant funding from the European Union to finance their SEAP activities in the area of sustainable urban mobility and energy efficient modernization of public lighting. This helped Polotsk to achieve its Covenant of Mayors target of reducing CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020. Polotsk’s new commitment as a CoM signatory is to cut CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030.

    Project objectives:
    Bring energy policies in Polotsk and Salé closer to European standards by introducing energy experts from these cities to European best practices in the area of sustainable energy and encouraging them to use these practices.
    Strengthen cooperation between the countries of the European Union (Germany, Spain) and the ENPI region (Belarus and Morocco).
    Share best practices in sustainable energy management with other cities from the ENPI region

    Thanks to the SURE project, first Energy Days in Belarus took place in Polotsk in 2012.


    A bike tour under the slogan “Let’s make our Polotsk a green city!”, a discount and a free energy efficient light bulb for everyone buying a Class A household appliance in major Polotsk department stores, contests for schools and families with five and more children, lessons on energy saving in school summer camps, open door days at city plants, an exhibition of energy efficient equipment and modern technologies in construction –  all these events took place in Polotsk (Belarus) on June 20-29 as part of the European Sustainable Energy Week 2012.


    Creative Energy Days events in Polotsk were an inspiration for other signatories of the Covenant of Mayors. Nowadays, with support of Interakcia Foundation, Energy Days take place each year in dozens of Belarusian cities that joined the Covenant of Mayors.

    Project results:
    Experts from Polotsk and Salé underwent extensive training on sustainable energy development in Friedrichshafen (Germany) and Murcia (Spain) and learned about new technologies and approaches to urban energy and sustainable transport.
    Polotsk, Salé and Friedrichshafen joined the Covenant of Mayors. Polotsk and Salé became the first CoM signatories in Belarus and Morocco, respectively.
    European experts helped Polotsk and Salé to develop their own Sustainable Energy Action Plans until 2020 and start with their implementation.
    For the first time, Polotsk and Salé joined hundreds of other European cities in organizing Energy Days as part of the European Sustainable Energy Week.
    As a pilot SEAP project, Polotsk chose to replace outdated street lamps in its central avenue with energy efficient LED lights. This was the beginning of a large-scale public lighting modernization, which was to happen later, in 2015-2020, as part of the PubLiCity project funded by the European Union.