In the context of the European Union promoting clean energy, sustainability and better living conditions for its citizens, the development of smarts cities is an initiative supported at the European Union level, in line with the new energy policies of the European Union
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In the context of the European Union promoting clean energy, sustainability and better living conditions for its citizens, the development of smarts cities is an initiative supported at the European Union level, in line with the new energy policies of the European Union promoted by the package “Clean Energy for All Europeans”. The concept of smart cities gains increasing importance in the European Union, a fact that is reflected in the project “European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities” of the European Commission. Smart cities are a practical example of how the new energy policies shape the lives of the European Union citizens, trying to improve it. As a consequence, new business models arise in big cities, involving the use of technology for better living conditions. These new, technology-based business models are important, as they improve the life quality of the inhabitants, they reduce the climate change impact, and they contribute as well to job creation in the IT-industry, promoting innovation. They have as well a social impact, as they bring experts from energy policies, business, economics, legal and IT together in order to project a new type of city—the smart city. The research hypothesis of the present article is that there is a high acceptance towards the concept of smart cities at the European Union level and that this concept could be implemented with the help of information technology and of artificial intelligence. This way, legal provisions, economic measures and IT-tools work together in order to create synergy effects for better life quality of the citizens of the European Union. The research hypothesis is analyzed by means of the questionnaire as a qualitative research method and is as well assessed by using case studies (e.g., Austria, Finland, Romania). The novelty of the case studies is that the development of smart cities is analyzed due to the new trend towards sustainability in two countries with different living conditions in the European Union.