EU and International Relations

Cork City Council is engaged as a partner in several European Funded Projects across a number of different funding calls .These projects help to advance Cork City Council’s knowledge about international best practice activities, promote transnational collaboration and help to accelerate social and economic innovation activities to enhance Cork in a sustainable way. Cork City Council Staff are currently involved in projects under themes including smart cities, social innovation and engagement, energy efficiency and tourism.

Cork City Council has engaged in projects such as:

Atlantic Digital Startup Academy

Atlantic Digital Startup Academy (ADSA) helps digital startups develop and launch their offer in international markets. Through a support programme including mentoring, training, networking and events the Academy companies research new markets, test their products, develop know-how and form partnerships that will be fundamental to successful selling  in overseas markets. The Atlantic area is seen as a first step for startups to discover new markets, to benefit from training to test their offer, and to start doing business.


Atlantic Food Export

Atlantic Food Export is a project supported by the EU under the Atlantic Area Interreg Programme involving partners from 7 European regions. The project aims to improve competitiveness and increase exports of AA food sector SMEs primarily by encouraging business cooperation initiatives, such as export consortia. The project activities are intended to help the participating SMEs to overcome some of the barriers to internationalisation arising from their small size, structure, skill set or lack of resources.


Cult CreaTE

Cult-CreaTE aims to examine the potential of all kinds of Cultural & Creative Industries (CCIs) in terms of tourism. In particular, the project will place an emphasis on opportunities for experiential ‘co-creation’ which actively involves the visitor in cultural and creative tourism (CCT).

Informed and supplemented by the learning as offered by project partners and assimilated, as and where appropriate, into the local context, the project will seek to identify a set of focussed and feasible actions by which to positively influence the Cork City Council Tourism Statement of Strategy & Work Programme 2017-2022



FOSO POCO - Fostering Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystems Post-Covid-19


 Cork City Council, Malta Enterprises and Tartu City Council have commenced a new year-long EU-funded project focused on social entrepreneurship in 2021. FOSO-POCO focuses on creating better understanding of the conditions for social entrepreneurship by directly involving relevant actors and stakeholders in efforts to identify and address existing gaps in the supports for social enterprises.

Co-funded by the COSME Programme of the EU

Objectives of FOSO-POCO

The project has 3 specific objectives:

  1. Creating better understanding of the state-of-play and potential of social entrepreneurship locally, by identifying and directly involving the relevant stakeholders and the use of best practices and expert involvement to address existing gaps in supports available;
  2. Assisting promising social enterprises to pilot, pitch and internationalise their product or services through the networks of the project partners;
  3. Establishing local supports to assist social enterprises in a post-Covid economy which hopefully results in furthering their viability and job creation prospects.

Our Partners and what we will be doing?

The partners in this project are Tartu City Council, Cork City Council and Malta Enterprise, who will act as lead partner.  Each partner will organise a number of stakeholder meetings where gaps in the support services available to social enterprises are mapped and analysed. A peer review of the situation in each of the 3 participating countries will be undertaken by the stakeholders. A survey of local stakeholders is also being conducted. The findings from these meetings will be presented and shared at 3 workshops organised by the partners from Ireland, Malta and Estonia and where local and national stakeholders can participate.

More information on the partner cities is offered in the boxes at the end of this page.

For information on the Survey, Workshops and Final Workshop and Report please select the correct drop down below:


As part of the project, we undertook a short online survey of organisations working in the field of social enterprise in Malta, Ireland and Estonia. The survey results were used in the preparation of the final report that will inform national and EU policies in this area and is of particular interest to policy makers because it is addressing the challenges facing social enterprises in the post COVID-19 period.

The online survey covered the following topics:

  • Social Entrepreneurship Culture
  • Institutional Framework
  • Legal & Regulatory Framework
  • Access to Finance
  • Access to Markets


  • July 21st , hosted by Cork City Council, Ireland - address the challenges faced by social enterprises in the post COVID-19 economy    
  • Aug 25th, hosted by Tartu City Council, Estonia - brought European perspective into play, focused on boosting learning between social economy stakeholders in the three regions and supporting the fostering of a wider inter-regional social economy community.
  • Sept 30th  - Organised by Malta Enterprises. The 3rd workshop of the project was to improve collaboration in each region between existing local networks and stakeholders and supporting the fostering of a local social economy community 

See Project member webpages for further details of the workshops.

Final Report and Workshop

The final workshop took place  on 18th January, 2022 .This was an opportunity for the stakeholders from Malta, Estonia and Ireland to share ideas and final thoughts - particularly with reference to the launch of the EU Social Action Programme in December, 2021.

The FOSO-POCO has allowed for better understanding of the state-of-play and potential of social entrepreneurship at local level in Tartu, Cork and Malta, where we shared good practices, as well as improved understanding of how to foster and grow social economy ecosystems.  

This final workshop has brought the FOSO POCO project to an end, and its partners aim to investigate other venues for future collaboration for Social Entrepreneurship. We look forward to working together. The final report is attached. Final-Report


The Twinning or Sister city concept developed in Europe following the Second World War. It was seen as a way of removing old enmities which had developed in the war years and it is now grown to such an extent that it covers not just the European mainland, where it began, but also the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, Asia, Africa and beyond. Cork is currently twinned with six cities.

The objective of twinning is to help develop links in: cultural, educational, social, tourist, technical, scientific and economic areas. It is hoped that the development of such links would have benefits for all communities involved.

Twinning Grants

Cork City Council has opened online applications for its Twinning Grants.  We are putting out a call to any organisation, group or individual located or providing services within the administrative area of Cork City Council that proposes to promote the twinning links between Cork City and any of its six twinned cities: Swansea (Wales), Coventry (England), Rennes (France), Cologne (Germany), San Francisco (USA) and Shanghai (China). The nature of the activity may be community based, voluntary, social, cultural, educational and/or sporting or of general social and economic benefit.

Over the years, Cork City Council's twinning grant has enabled Corkonians to be a part of international poetry exchanges, marathon runner exchanges, and international academic collaboration amongst other diverse activities.  Covid restrictions mean that applications this year must comply with some related terms and conditions but this will surely make for some innovative ideas for strengthening our twinning ties in a time of global pandemic.

Applications can be submitted online here. Hard copies of the application form are available on request by contacting The closing date for submission of application forms is no later than 5pm, 11th February 2022.

Alternatively you can download the application form from the link below:-

Twinning-Grant-Application-form-2022.docx (size 67.2 KB)