28 towns and cities from across 21 European countries are officially competing to win the 2020 European Green Capital and 2019 European Green Leaf Awards. This is the highest number of countries entering the competition in the history of the two initiatives. With the 2020 title, the European Green Capital Award will be celebrating 10 years, as it first started in 2010, with Stockholm as a winner.
For the European Green Capital Award, the following cities are racing for the title:
Aberdeen (United-Kingdom), Budapest (Hungary), Bursa (Turkey), Ghent (Belgium), Guimarães (Portugal), Lahti (Finland), Lisbon (Portugal), Ostrava (Czech Republic), Prato (Italy), Reykjavik (Iceland), Seville (Spain), Tallinn (Estonia), Wroclaw (Poland).
For the European Green Leaf Award, the following cities are in:
Avignon (France), Nagykőrös (Hungary), Serres (Greece), Joensuu (Finland), Horst aan de Maas (Netherlands), Gabrovo (Bulgaria), Mechelen (Belgium), Pärnu (Estonia), Strovolos (Cyprus), Cornellà de Llobregat (Spain), Taurage (Lithuania), Delitzsch (Germany), Valmiera (Latvia), Santarém (Portugal), Roman (Romania).
20 of the 28 candidate cities are Covenant of Mayors signatories. We wish them all the best of luck!
For the first time ever, to celebrate the 10th year of the initiative, there is a financial incentive for the winners. The European Green Capital 2020 Award winner will receive €350,000 while each of the European Green Leaf 2019 Award winners will receive €75,000 to jump start their environmental programme for the year. A panel of 12 independent, internationally acknowledged experts will now commence their technical assessment of each application. The shortlisted cities will be announced next April (2018) and will present their case to an international jury.
In June, one city will be awarded European Green Capital 2020 and up to two smaller cities or towns could be awarded European Green Leaf 2019.