At present, the eligibility criteria are as follows:
- The European Green Capital Award is open to EU Member States, Candidate Countries (Turkey, FYROM, Montenegro, Serbia and Iceland) and European Economic Area countries (Norway and Liechtenstein).
- All cities from the countries listed above which have more than 100,000 inhabitants can apply for the award (in countries where there is no city with more than 100,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply).
- In this context, a “city” is understood to be an urban area, excluding metropolitan areas, larger urban zones and conurbations, and is understood as an administrative unit governed by a city council or another form of democratically elected body.
- Past winners may not apply for a period of ten years after they held the European Green Capital title.