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Environment

European Green Capital Award - Applying for EU Green Capital

Key dates for 2024 competition

The competition for the European Green Capital 2024 Award is open until 28 April 2022 at 23:59 CET (GMT+2).

  1. 16 December 2021
    Competition opens
  2. 14 February 2022
    Online Applicant City Workshop: How to make a good application
  3. 28 April 2022
    Competition closes at 23:59 CEST (GMT+2)
  4. May - June 2022
    Assessment of applications by the Expert Panel
  5. July 2022 (TBC)
    Announcement of finalist cities
  6. October 2022
    Finalist cities make presentations to the Jury
  7. October 2022
    Awards Ceremony to announce the winner

Rules of Contest & Eligibility

Download the latest Rules of Contest of the European Green Capital Award. The Rules of Contest must be adhered to in order for applicant cities to submit eligible applications.

This call for entries to the contest for the European Green Capital Award 2024 is open to the following applicants:

  • Applicant cities from EU Member States and EEA countries.
  • Applicant cities from the countries listed above which have more than 100,000 inhabitants.
  • In countries where there is no city with more than 100,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply.
  • A 'city' is understood to be an urban area, including metropolitan areas (excluding agglomerations), and must encompass an administrative unit governed by a city council or another form of democratically elected body.
  • Any given year, cities can apply for either the European Green Capital Award or European Green Leaf Award, but not both at the same time.
  • Past winners of the European Green Capital title may not apply.
  • The signatory should be the Mayor or highest ranking city representative, authorised by national law to legally represent the city.

How does my city apply?

To find out more about how your city can apply for the European Green Capital Award please view the 2024 'Will Your City be the next European Green Capital winner?' leaflet. You can also find out if your city has what it takes to win the title of European Green Capital  by reading the evaluation section below.

 Registration

The applications for the European Green Capital 2024 Award closed on 28 April 2022 at 23:59 CEST (GMT+2).

 Online Application

All European cities that comply with the eligibility check may apply for the European Green Capital Award. The applications for the European Green Capital 2024 Award closed on 28 April at 23:59 CEST (GMT+2).

For information on putting together an application for the European Green Capital Award you are advised to carefully read the guidance note.

How to make a good application? Join the Applicant Workshop

The Applicant Workshop for the 2024 cycle took place online on 14 February 2022 and guided the participants on how to write a successful application. 

See below the 2024 Applicant Workshop:

 

Evaluation Process

The selection of a city awarded with the title of European Green Capital is assessed on the basis of 12 environmental indicators:

  1. Air Quality
  2. Noise
  3. Water
  4. Sustainable Land Use and Soil
  5. Waste and Circular Economy
  6. Nature and Biodiversity
  7. Green Growth and Eco-innovation
  8. Climate Change: Mitigation
  9. Climate Change: Adaptation
  10. Sustainable Urban Mobility
  11. Energy Performance
  12. Environmental Governance

In the EU Green Capital Application process, cities are asked to provide information on their performance across the above 12 environmental indicators.

Specifically, the Application Form has 4 sections per indicator, as follows

  • Describe the present situation.
  • Describe the measures implemented over the last five to ten years.
  • Describe the short and long term objectives for the future and proposed approach to achieve these.
  • List how the above information can be documented, add links where possible.

For information on putting together an application for the European Green Capital competition, please take a look at our guidance note.

Technical Assessment

The evaluation process is two-fold: 1) a technical pre-evaluation is carried out by a Panel of Experts, and 2) a final assessment is made by the Jury.

The European Commission sets up the Panel of twelve Experts, one expert per indicator area, following a public call for applications. The members of the Panel of Experts are bound by a contract.

The Panel of Experts provides a technical assessment (based on objective, reliable and comparable information) and prepares the ground work for the selection of the cites to be awarded with the title of European Green Capital. The final decision on which cities will be short-listed lies with the Commission (guided by, not bound by, the assessment of the Panel of Experts).

The finalist cities are then invited to present their action plans and communication strategies to the Jury

The Expert Panel

The members of the Expert Panel responsible for the technical review of the applications of the European Green Capital 2024 and the European Green Leaf 2024 Awards are listed below.

Air Quality Mr. Joan Marc Craviotto Arnau

Noise Dr. César Asensio

Water Mr. Christof Mainz

Sustainable Land Use and Soil Dr. Henk Wolfert

Waste and Circular Economy Mr. Olivier Gaillot

Nature and Biodiversity Mr. David Jamieson

Green Growth and Eco-innovation Ms. Zita Dibáczi

Climate Change: Mitigation Dr. Matt Kennedy

Climate Change: Adaptation Ms. Birgit Georgi

Sustainable Urban Mobility Dr. George Angelou

Energy Performance Ms. Vesna Kolega

Environmental Governance Mr. Alex Minshull

The Jury

Following these presentations, the Jury deliberates and selects the winner of the European Green Capital Award. The Jury is appointed by the European Commission (as represented by the Director General of DG ENV – note that the Director General of DG ENV is the authorising officer responsible for awarding the financial prize). 

This year, the Jury includes representatives from:

Shortlisted cities

Following the evaluation process, cities are shortlisted for the next stage of the competition. The shortlisted cities are invited to present to the Jury, setting out their achievements and future vision. The Jury then assesses the shortlisted cities in the light of all the information provided and decides on the winner(s).

The shortlisted cities, will be invited by the Jury to present their application which includes as follows:

1) The applicant city’s overall strategy, vision, and commitment to sustainability, and how these are being and will continue to be implemented in practice – as well as the approach the applicant city intends to take as a European Green Capital respectively.

2)  The applicant city’s communication strategy and actions for its role as an European Green Capital, which should address:

  • Citizen communication and involvement to date in relation to the 12 environmental indicators (for Green Capital), effectiveness via changes in citizen behaviour, lessons learned and proposed modifications for the future.
  • The applicant city’s ability to showcase the city’s sustainability vision and plans at local and regional levels.
  • How the applicant city intends to fulfil their role of Green Ambassador/role model, inspiring other European cities

3)  Their proposal on initiatives and measures intended to be set in place within the year of the award to enhance the applicant city’s environmental sustainability and to contribute to achieving the applicant city’s sustainability vision. This includes the applicant city’s vision, plans and measures to achieve targets in the European Green Deal, in particular those specified in the Zero Pollution Action Plan, the Biodiversity Strategyand Circular Economy Action Planand the Fit for 55 Package.

The Jury makes its final decision based on the quality of this presentation and the winner is announced at an annual Awards Ceremony.