Green Cities Fit for Life

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European Commission launches competition to find Europe’s greenest cities

28 May 2020: Today the European Commission launches the competition for the 2023 European Green Capital (EGCA 2023) and the 2022 European Green Leaf (EGLA 2022) Awards, recognising cities that are genuinely committed to becoming more sustainable.

This year, the financial prize for both Awards will be significantly increased to a combined one million euro, aimed at supporting cities in putting in place urban sustainability measures. The EGCA 2023 winning city will receive €600 000, while up to two EGLA 2022 winning towns/cities will receive €200 000 each. This increased financial prize reflects the importance of cities for delivering on the objectives of the European Green Deal, including the recently adopted EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030.

European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “Sustainability is not a luxury, it is a necessity. In these difficult times, when a number of European cities are facing economic and social challenges, we want to help them in realising their sustainability vision. Past winners have shown that it is perfectly possible to live in a cleaner, greener environment and protect citizens’ health while having a thriving economy. I encourage all cities in Europe to follow the Green Capital and Green Leaf path of urban sustainability.”

Winning the European Green Capital and European Green Leaf Awards is a seal of approval by the European Commission and brings many benefits: increased international media coverage, a boost in local pride, a greater focus on environmental projects, and increased foreign investment. All finalist and winning cities also gain access to a network of previous finalists and winning cities where they share learnings on how to overcome key challenges.

With the increased financial prize, the winning cities are expected to take on additional responsibilities, such as committing to tangible projects or actions to enhance their city’s environmental sustainability. 

The annual European Green Capital Award is open to cities with a population of over 100 000 inhabitants. The European Green Leaf Award is for towns/cities with a population of 20 000 to 99 999 inhabitants. A maximum of two cities can win the European Green Leaf each year.

Further information on the Rules of Contest and how to apply is available here.