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International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme: Semarang and Bandung

An EU programme building partnerships between EU and non-EU cities at the global scale. The IURC connects two European cities and two Indonesian cities to cooperate on different urban development issues.

International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme


Funded by the European Union (EU), the International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme aims to promote decentralised multi-city cooperation on sustainable urban development and to build partnerships between EU and non-EU cities. Participating local governments will be enabled to implement pilot projects engaging research, civil society and business partners.

The IURC contributes to the objectives of the UN New Urban Agenda, the Agenda 2030 (SDGs), the Urban Agenda for the EU and the European Commission’s priorities for a “Stronger Europe in the World” with the European Green Deal and the NextGenerationEU (post COVID-19 recovery plan) at the centre. The programme is implemented in the geographical area of Asia and Australasia in nine countries, namely Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, connecting 39 non-EU cities with 45 EU cities.

In Indonesia, two cities have been invited to participate in the programme: Semarang and Bandung.

  • Semarang (Central Java province) is paired with Sofia (Bulgaria) to work on urban mobility.
  • Bandung (West Java province) is paired with Rome (Italy) to work on several issues, i.e., urban food, tourism and culture, and energy efficiency.

The programme was launched on 23 November 2021 with a kick-off meeting attended by officials from the four cities, the EU, the Ministry of National Development Planning of Indonesia (Bappenas), and the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia.

The IURC programme team has partnered with the Association of Indonesian Municipalities (APEKSI) to implement activities. APEKSI’s presence is crucial to transfer the captured knowledge during the cooperation at the national scale within Indonesian cities. 

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