April 20, 2021
Belgrade, Skopje, Sofia and Zagreb are in the race for the European Green Capital 2023 Award (EGCA). The competition is organized by the European Commission.
The capitals of Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Bulgaria and Croatia will compete for the award established in 2010 together with the Turkish cities of Izmir and Gaziantep. The award, like the European Green Leaf of Europe, introduced in 2015, aims to support environmental achievements of cities and their pursuit of urban sustainability and eco-innovation.
Four capitals from the region are competing with 12 other cities
Belgrade, Skopje, Sofia and Zagreb will compete with Cagliari (Italy), Dublin (Ireland), Gaziantep (Turkey), Gdańsk (Poland), Helsingborg (Sweden), İzmir (Turkey), Košice (Slovakia), Kraków (Poland), Logroño (Spain), Rzeszów (Poland), Tallinn (Estonia) and Warsaw (Poland).
According to the European Commission, winning the European Green Capital Award brings numerous advantages including increased coverage in international media, a boost in local pride, greater focus on environmental projects and more foreign investment.
The winners will be announced this year and receive prizes from a fund of EUR 1 million in total.
The selection of finalists is underway
A panel of twelve independent experts is currently conducting a technical evaluation of each application to select finalists. The assessment is performed on the basis of 12 environmental indicators, the European Commission said.
The finalists will present an action plan on how their city intends to fulfill its European Year of the Green Capital
The shortlist of finalist cities will be announced in the spring of 2021, and they will be invited to present before an international jury, chaired by the European Commission. The finalists will present an action plan on how their city intends to fulfill its European Year of the Green Capital, projects and activities it plans to implement in order to strengthen the city’s environmental sustainability, as well as a communication strategy.
So far, thirteen cities have received the European Green Capital Award: Stockholm (2010), Hamburg (2011), Vitoria-Gasteiz (2012), Nantes (2013), Copenhagen (2014), Bristol (2015), Ljubljana (2016) Essen (2017), Nijmegen (2018), Oslo (2019), Lisbon (2020), Lahti (2021) and Grenoble (2022).
The competition is important for raising awareness of the environmental problems – Mayor of Belgrade
Belgrade Mayor Zoran Radojičić it is important for the capital of Serbia to be a part of this competition. It will help us raise the awareness of the environmental problems, he added.
He said Belgrade would adopt important documents including air quality plan for the period 2021-2030, the Green City Action Plan (GCAP) and the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP).