City-to-City pairings

City-to-city pairings

Through the IUC programme, cities and regions across Europe have entered into partnerships on sustainable development with counterparts from around the globe. For a full list of city pairings so far, see the table below:


EU City
Paired city

Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur




540 000


1 400 km2


Christian Estrosi



2 270 000


2 305 km2


Ding Hui


Digital transitionEducation, jobs and skills in the local economyEnergy transition
Integrated urban-rural developmentNature and cultural heritage conservationSmart cities and regional/urban innovation and competitiveness

Sustainable Development Goals


Haikou and Nice share a lot of similarities not only in natural conditions but also in industrial structure mainly based on tourism. As pilot cities under IUC Asia in 2018, Haikou and Nice become pairing cities and will cooperate in such areas as cultural and sports events, health, education, smart city and tourism.

Haikou and Nice are interested in cooperating on projects such as:

  • Co-organizing cultural and sports events, such as Nice Carnival and Haikou Guanlanhu Football youth match
  • Co-hosting relevant international conference and exhibition
  • Vocational education exchange and cooperation
  • Smart-city related projects, as well as offshore innovation and incubation platform building
  • Health related exchanges and joint efforts in cooperating on silver economy
  • Tourism promotion in each city and integrating technologies to promote smart tourism


Representatives from both sides met during the EU-China Regional Policy Seminar in Zhengzhou in July 2018 to introduce and discuss about potential cooperation areas including innovation, offshore incubation of SMEs, environmental protection, sports, culture and so on.

Also in July 2018, representatives from Nice as part of the EU city delegation paid a visit to Haikou in order to conduct fact-finding field visits and further identify thematic cooperation sectors.

In September 2018, Haikou city representatives joined the Chinese delegation led by National Development and Reform Commission, and conducted a working visit to Nice during the mission in the EU, during which they visited quite interesting places in Nice such as French Tech incubator and smart city centre, and discussed about cooperation possibilities in areas of technology innovation, silver economy, smart city, and health.

In November 2018, representatives from Nice and Haikou met again in Beijing to further discuss about the co-hosting of Haikou-Nice Carnival in 2019.

*Note: IUC Asia pioneered a 'cluster' approach to city-to-city cooperation. As a result, Urban Cooperation Action Plans (UCAPs) for those cities may refer to a group of cooperating cities, as opposed to merely a pairing.