The Bulgarian capital Sofia has made it to the final of the competition for European Green Capital 2023, while the capital cities of Serbia, Croatia, and North Macedonia are out of the race.
The other three finalists for the European Green Capital 2023 award are Helsingborg (Sweden), Krakow (Poland), and Tallinn (Estonia), according to an announcement by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment.
Besides Belgrade, Zagreb, and Skopje, cities that failed to qualify for the finals are Cagliari (Italy), Dublin (Ireland), Gaziantep (Turkey), Gdańsk (Poland), Logroño (Spain), and Rzeszów (Poland).
The winner will be announced in September
In the final stage of the competition, the four finalists will have the task of convincing an international jury of their serious commitment to sustainable urban development and their capacity to act as a role model to other cities, the directorate said.
The winner will be announced at the official Awards Ceremony on September 9 in Lahti, Finland, which holds the title of European Green Capital 2021.
The European Green Capital Award was launched in 2008 with the aim of encouraging cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants to be greener, healthier, and more sustainable places to live. So far, 13 cities have been awarded the title. Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, scooped the award for 2016, and Grenoble (France), won the 2022 title.
The Romanian city of Bistrița shortlisted for the European Green Leaf 2022 award
Simultaneously with the European Green Capital Award, the European Commission will hand the European Green Leaf 2022 award, which covers cities and towns with between 20,000 and 100,000 inhabitants, recognizing their commitment to better environmental outcomes, with a particular accent on efforts that generate green growth and new jobs.
Six cities have been shortlisted for the 2022 title, including Romania’s Bistrița, which has a population of about 70,000. The other five are Elsinore (Denmark), Gavà (Spain), Treviso (Italy), Valongo (Portugal) and Winterswijk (the Netherlands).