Fredericton to participate in International Urban Cooperation Program. Left to Right, Mayor Mike O'Brien, Ambassador Peter Ustubs, and Ken Forrest, Director, Growth & Community Services, City of Fredericton.

Fredericton to participate in International Urban Cooperation Program

The City of Fredericton has been selected to participate in the International Urban Cooperation (IUC) program offered by the European Union (EU).  EU Ambassador to Canada Peteris Ustubs was in Fredericton yesterday to mark the start of the partnership and meet Mayor Mike O’Brien. 

The IUC program is a city-to-city pairing between international cities and cities in the European Union, who face similar challenges on their path to achieving sustainable urban development.  The partnership allows cities to connect and share solutions to common problems.  All costs associated with this partnership will be covered by the IUC.

Fredericton has been paired with Parma, Italy, whose interests align closely with New Brunswick’s Capital City.  This includes a broad focus on gender, social inclusion and economic development.  It is expected other areas of interest may be explored.

Application into the program was a competitive process where cities and regions of more than 100,000 inhabitants were encouraged to apply.  Fredericton was one of only six Canadian cities selected for the program. The others include Ottawa, Montreal, Burlington, Windsor, and Guelph.

Fredericton’s application was strengthened by the City’s enviable track record of international exchanges over the last decade, including Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) missions to Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Bolivia and South Africa.  It builds on existing ties forged with the EU at the Future of Places Conference in 2015.

Juan Estepa, Fredericton’s Manager of Heritage and Urban Design will participate in a working session with representatives from Parma on November 7-8, 2017.  This will be followed by attendance at the 1st International Urban Cooperation City-to-City event in Brussels, Belgium from November 9-10.

That event will include face-to-face discussions on how to foster sustainable urban development and local climate action through exchange and cooperation, as a stepping stone towards the COP23 Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany.

It is anticipated that a City of Fredericton staff will visit Parma in the Spring of 2018, followed by a visit from Parma representatives to Fredericton in the Summer of 2018. For more on the program, visit For about the City of Fredericton, visit


"Fredericton's participation in the IUC Program and collaboration with the city of Parma represents a great opportunity for fruitful exchanges that will benefit to the sustainable growth of both cities. This is another example of the strong cooperation between Canada and the European Union "

-Peter Ustubs, Ambassador to the European Union to Canada

“Fredericton has participated in numerous exchange programs around the world.  While we can offer our perspective on issues, including urban development, it is always amazing what we learn from our conversations and interactions with international counterparts. Our City is looking forward to this partnership.”

-Mayor Mike O’Brien, City of Fredericton 


Ambassador Peteris Ustubs

Ambassador Ustubs began his posting as the European Union's top diplomat in Canada in September 2017. Prior to his arrival in Canada, he served as Americas Senior Advisor in the Cabinet of Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission.  

Ambassador Ustubs has held senior positions with the European External Action Service (EEAS), including as Director for West and Central Africa. Prior to that, he was Deputy Head of Cabinet of Andris Piebalgs, former European Commissioner for Development.

Ambassador Ustubs joined the Latvian diplomatic service in 1993 and served as the Representative of Latvia to the Political and Security Committee of the EU, the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister and Under-Secretary of State – Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mayor Mike O’Brien

Mike O’Brien was elected as Mayor of Fredericton in May 2016. He is a loyal Frederictonian who grew up in the city, graduated from University, built a career, and raised his family here. Mayor O’Brien is a retired Professional Engineer, with a career spanning manufacturing, food production, consulting, and a provincial crown corporation. 

He was first elected to Fredericton City Council in 2001 and re-elected in 2004, 2008, and 2012. His past Council accomplishments include serving two terms as Deputy Mayor, and as Chair of all major standing committees. As Chair of the Finance & Administration he oversaw the adoption of the City’s visionary long term fiscal plan and the implementation of the Lean Six Sigma process improvement program.

Mayor O’Brien has served on numerous community boards over the years, and been in the forefront of promoting Housing First, a proven model to eradicate chronic homelessness in his City.  He was the recipient of the New Brunswick Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists 2016 Citizenship Award, and is a charter inductee of the Fredericton Sports Wall of Fame, as well as an inductee of the Baseball New Brunswick Hall of Fame.