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Selection and evaluation

The Natura 2000 Award selection process consists of three key 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, held on or around Natura 2000 Day.

Launch of 2020 Call for applications:

21 May 2019

Deadline for 2020 submissions:

15 October 2019

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

2 June 2020

Public Vote for the Citizens' Award:

2 June - 15 September 2020

Award Ceremony (winners announced):

To be confirmed

Application process

Applications for the 2020 Award are now closed, but you can find information about the application process here.


All applications are 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, except Maltese and Irish. 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. Applicants have to clearly present tangible results achieved in the past five years.


All eligible applications are then assessed by an independent evaluation team. Five criteria are used: effectiveness, originality, durability, costs and benefits, and replicability. Each criterion has a different weighting depending on its importance for the category in question. Applications providing descriptive yet to the point qualitative AND quantitative information are likely to score better.


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 or around Natura 2000 Day