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European Green Leaf Award - Applying for EU Green Leaf Award

Key dates for 2024 competition

The competition for the European Green Leaf 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. 27 October 2022
    Awards Ceremony to announce the winner

Rules of Contest & Eligibility

These cities made the finalists list for the EU Green Leaf 2024 Award: Bistriţa (Romania), Elsinore (Denmark), and Velenje (Slovenia).

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

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

  1. Applicant cities from EU Member States and EEA countries.
  2. Applicant cities from the countries listed above which have between 20,000 and 99,999 inhabitants.
  3. A 'city' is understood to be an urban area and an administrative unit governed by a city council or another form of democratically elected body.
  4. In countries where there is no city with more than 20,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply.
  5. In any given year, cities can apply for either the European Green Leaf Award, but not both at the same time.
  6. Past winners of the European Green Leaf title may not apply.
  7. 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 Leaf Award please view the 2024 'Will Your City be the next European Green Leaf winner?' leaflet. You can also find out if your city has what it takes to win the title of European Green Leaf by reading the evaluation section below.

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

Online Application

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

For information on putting together an application for the European Green Leaf 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 Leaf is assessed on the basis of 6 environmental topic areas:

  1. Nature, Biodiversity, Sustainable Land Use and Soil
  2. Air Quality and Noise
  3. Water
  4. Waste and Circular Economy
  5. Climate Change and Energy Performance
  6. Sustainable Urban Mobility

In each topic area there are two sections that must be completed:

  • Describe the current situation and strategic approach
  • Describe citizen participation and public awareness

The European Green Leaf Award application process also includes a ‘City Introduction and Context section’, where you are asked to briefly present your city, indicating the main challenges it faces and how you deal with them.

A Good Practice Section is also included at the end of the application form where cities are invited to submit three good practices they are undertaking across three different environmental topic areas.

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.

A panel of internationally acknowledged Experts (find who they are below) assesses the information supplied by each city. This includes qualitative evaluations and a peer review of each application based on the 12 indicators above. The Expert Panel determines the shortlist of cities that enter into the final stage of the competition.

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.

The Jury

Following these presentations, the Jury deliberates and selects the winner of the European Green Leaf 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).

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 Leaf respectively.

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

  • Citizen communication and involvement to date in relation to the 6 topic areas (for Green Leaf), 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.