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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 15 June 2012

Will your city be the European Green Capital 2015?

Today the Commission launches the search to find the city that will win the European Green Capital title in 2015. The European Green Capital Award recognises cities that are at the forefront of environmentally-friendly urban living and which can act as role-models to inspire other cities. The annual award is intended to spur European cities to become more attractive and healthy places – “fit for life”.

European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, said: “The European Green Capital Award showcases local efforts to improve the urban environment and promote sustainable growth. As we launch the competition for the sixth European Green Capital, for 2015, I would like to encourage cities to apply and to use this as an opportunity to review and highlight their environmental achievements and plan a sustainable future for their citizens.”

The three key aims of the award are to:

  • Reward cities that have a well-established record of achieving high environmental objectives;

  • Encourage cities to commit to ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development; and

  • Provide a role model to inspire other cities and promote best practices and experiences in all other European cities.

All cities across Europe with more than 200,000 inhabitants can apply for the title of European Green Capital 2015. The award is open to EU Member States, acceding states (Croatia), candidate countries (Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Iceland and Serbia) and other European Economic Area countries (Norway and Liechtenstein). In countries where there is no city with more than 200,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply.

Entries will be assessed on the basis of 12 indicators: local contribution to global climate change, sustainable transport, green urban areas incorporating sustainable land use, promotion of nature and biodiversity, air quality, noise levels, waste management, water consumption, waste water treatment, eco-innovation and sustainable employment, environmental management of the local authority and energy performance.

Cities can apply online at The deadline for applications for the 2015 title is 15 October 2012. The title is awarded by an international jury supported by a panel of renowned experts in different environmental fields. The winner will be announced in June 2013.


The European Green Capital Award is the outcome of an initiative taken by cities with a green vision. The concept was originally conceived at a meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, held on 15 May 2006, at the initiative of Mr Jüri Ratas, former Mayor of Tallinn, where 15 European cities and the Association of Estonian cities signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of such an award.

Four cities – Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Nantes – have been awarded the prestigious title so far, from 2010 to 2013 respectively. The 2014 green capital will be announced on 29 June.

Europe is now an essentially urban society, with three out of four Europeans living in towns and cities. Most of the environmental challenges facing our society originate from urban areas but it is also these urban areas that bring together the commitment and innovation needed to resolve them. The European Green Capital Award was conceived as an initiative to promote and reward efforts, to spur cities to commit to further action, and to showcase and encourage exchange of best practice among European cities.

In addition to inspiring other cities, this increased profile will serve to enhance the winning city’s reputation and attractiveness as a destination for people to visit, work and live in.

For more information:

Twitter: @EU_GreenCapital

Contacts :

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)

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