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Selection and evaluation

The selection and evaluation process begins with the close of the call for applications, and is completed with the announcement of the winners at the Ceremony in Brussels, usually held on or around Natura 2000 Day.

The Natura 2000 Award selection and evaluation process consists of three key steps: eligibility, selection and decision.


All applications are screened for their eligibility. Any entity or group based in the EU is eligible to apply. Applications must explicitly refer to one or more Natura 2000 sites and can be made in any of the official EU languages except Maltese and Gaelic. All efforts are made to assess the applications in their original language, although in some cases it may be 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 (see below). They evaluate applications against five criteria: 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.

The outcome of the selection phase is a shortlist of finalists, established through a ranking of the evaluation scores in each category. 


Based on the shortlist of finalists, a high-level Jury chooses the winners of the five category awards. More details about the Jury can be found below.

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.

2022 Evaluation Team

The 2022 Evaluation Team will be composed of seven independent evaluators. More information will be posted here in due course. 

2022 Jury

A high-level Jury will be appointed to select the five Natura 2000 Award category winners for 2022. The members of the Jury are expected to include representatives of the European Commission as the organiser of the Award, EU Institutions, local authorities, stakeholders and organisations active in the field of nature conservation. More information will be posted here in due course.