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Frequently Asked Questions for applicants

1.What are the key dates for the 2018 Award?

Launch of 2018 Call for applications:

15 May 2017

Deadline for 2018 submissions:

15 October 2017

Applicants notified of the evaluation results (list of finalists published):

March 2018

Award Ceremony

May 2018


2. Can international organisations apply to the Award scheme?

International organisations can be a lead applicant if they have a registered office in an EU Member State. They can be a partner applicant even if they do not have an office in the EU if the lead applicant is registered in EU Member State.

3. Can an applicant submit more than one application in the same year?

Yes, an applicant can submit more than one application for the same or different categories. However, all the applications must cover completely different activities / achievements. If the same activities / achievements are included in more than one application, all the applications concerned will be found ineligible.

4. Can an applicant re-submit an application from a previous year?

Yes, unsuccessful applications from previous years can be resubmitted so long as all other requirements are met.

Applicants from previous years are strongly encouraged to re-submit an updated application. However, merely resubmitting a previous application without any improvements is not likely to lead to success. Applications that show evidence of improvement or additional success compared to the previous year are more likely to be successful. Applicants can consult the Benchmarking Reports from previous years which highlight the content of good quality applications.

Applicants from previous calls should also take into account the feedback they received about their application and update and improve their application accordingly.  Those who submitted an application to the 2015 or 2016 editions can also access their previous application.  One of these previous applications can then be used as a basis for a new application if desired. 

Winning applications from previous years cannot be resubmitted by any applicant. This refers to applications reporting on the same activities / achievements regarding the same principal species / habitat types as in previously winning applications, even under a different category. 

5. What should we do if our application could fit under more than one category?

You should choose the category that seems the most suitable for your application. Do not submit the same application (covering the same activities / achievements) under more than one category as all the applications will be found ineligible (see above).

6. Why should applications relate explicitly to one or more Natura 2000 sites?

The Natura 2000 Award is a site-related award scheme. The Award aims to give recognition to activities that brought positive results for achieving the objectives of the Natura 2000 network. Even if your application covers activities / achievements that are not a classic site-related project, it might still be eligible if you can demonstrate a direct relevance to one or more Natura 2000 sites. For example:

  • An action on a migratory species would be eligible if it is demonstrated that it was implemented in one or more Natura 2000 sites and improved the conditions or the conservation status of this / these species in this / these Natura 2000 site(s).
  • Horizontal applications covering connectivity within the Natura 2000 network, communication campaigns targeting the general public, partnership building with stakeholders, or transboundary experience exchange must identify at least one site which has directly benefited from their work (e.g., because a new partnership solved local problems, or site managers successfully applied new techniques they learned from international experience exchange).

7. Why is it important to include photos with an application?

It is compulsory to include at least one photograph or other illustrative picture with an application. This picture will be published on the Natura 2000 Award website, with the summary of your application. If your application is selected as a finalist, the picture and summary will be used to promote your application during the public vote for the European Citizens’ Award. It is therefore of great importance that you choose a picture that positively promotes your application. It should, inter alia:

  1. Provide an attractive and accurate picture of the site, species present on the site or the activities described. 
  2. Be attractive to the general public.
  3. Not include text or figures, since the space for each picture is small .

A further five pictures can be provided both to illustrate your activities and to provide further material for the promotion of your application and Natura 2000 more widely. 

8. What are the evaluation criteria?

All applications, regardless of the category they are submitted under, will be assessed using the same five criteria:

  • Effectiveness (40%);
  • Originality (5%);
  • Durability (20%);
  • Cost-benefit (15%); and
  • Replicability (20%).

The information to be provided under each criterion for each category is described in more detail in the Guidelines for Applicants.

9. How are the winners chosen?

A panel of independent evaluators   assess all applications according to the above criteria and draws up a list of finalists.  A jury selects the winner for each category from the list of finalists. 

The winner of the European Citizens’ Award is chosen through means of a public vote.

10. How can I receive regular information about the Award?

The Natura 2000 Award website is the main hub for information about the Award and how to apply. Please regularly check the news section of the website and sign up for the Natura 2000 Award e-newsletter.

11. Who should we contact if we still have questions?

If you have already checked the website and the Guidance for applicants, and you still have questions, please contact the Natura 2000 Award Secretariat at: