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Selection and evaluation

The Natura 2000 Award selection process consists of three steps: eligibility, selection and decision. The process begins with the close of the call for applications, and is completed with the announcement of the winners at the Ceremony in Brussels on 21 May.


All applications have been screened for their eligibility. Any entity or group based in the EU is entitled to apply. Applications have to explicitly refer to one or more Natura 2000 sites, and can be made in any of the official EU languages. All efforts are made to assess the applications in their original language, although in some cases it is necessary to translate the application.

Applications by multiple applicants are allowed, but one of the applicants has to be designated as the lead.  Entrants have to clearly present tangible results achieved in the past five years. More details on the eligibility criteria can be found in the Guidance for Applicants pdf - 304 KB [304 KB] български (bg)čeština (cs)dansk (da)Deutsch (de)eesti keel (et)ελληνικά (el)español (es)hrvatski (hr)italiano (it)latviešu valoda (lv)lietuvių kalba (lt)magyar (hu)Nederlands (nl)polski (pl)português (pt)română (ro)slovenčina (sk)slovenščina (sl)suomi (fi).


All eligible applications are then assessed by an independent evaluation team for their effectiveness, originality, durability, costs and benefits, and replicability. A panel establishes the short list of finalists which is then considered by the Jury.


Based on the short list of finalists, a high level Jury - including representatives of the EU Institutions, local authorities, stakeholders and organisations active in the field of nature conservation - chooses the winners of the five category awards.

In a parallel and independent process, the winner of the Citizens' Award is chosen by a public vote.

The announcement of all six winners is made at the Award Ceremony on 21 May.