The European Commission has launched the competition for the 2023 European Green Capital and the 2022 European Green Leaf Awards, which will again serve to recognise the commitment by those cities in becoming more sustainable regions. The deadline date for all applications in both award categories is Wednesday 28 October 2020.
The prize for both awards will be significantly increased to a combined €1 million, to support cities to put in place urban sustainability measures. The 2023 European Green Capital 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 EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030.
Winning either of these awards brings many benefits such as increased international media coverage, a boost in local pride, a greater focus on environmental projects, and increased foreign investment.
All finalists and winning cities also gain access to a network of previous finalists and winning cities where they share their experience on overcoming key challenges. And with the increased financial prize, the winners are expected to take on additional responsibilities, such as committing to tangible projects to enhance their city’s environmental sustainability.
The annual European Green Capital Award (EGCA) is open to cities with a population of over 100,000 inhabitants, while the European Green Leaf Award (EGLA) is for towns/cities with a population of 20,000 to 99,999 inhabitants.
Following Galway’s success in winning the EGLA in 2017, this year the accolade went to Limerick (alongside the Belgian city of Mechelen) in recognition of its commitment to better environmental outcomes. However, the Treaty City has had to amend its programme of events to mark its designation as EGLA for 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.