The European Commission has won the 2018 Public Sector Magazine Award for its European Green Capital Award initiative. It was presented recently in Dublin to DG Environment Director General Daniel Calleja Crespo by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy TD.
DG Calleja was accompanied by RPS who is the EU Commission Secretariat for the European Green Capital Award (EGCA). The Secretariat is responsible for the technical, environmental and communications management of the awards.
The Award was made to the EU Commission for its 10 years in initiating and growing the success of the European Green Capital Award. This is an annual award set up by the EU Commission in 2008 for a city that excels in sustainable urban living, has ambitious future goals and is capable of acting as a role model for other cities. RPS has been secretariat for 7 of the last 10 years.
The European Green Capital Award (EGCA) is open to cities with a population over 100,000. Due to its success a similar competition, the European Green Leaf Award (EGLA) was created in 2015 for cities with populations of 20,000 and up to 100,000 inhabitants.
Since 2008 there have been 10 EGCA winning cities – Stockholm, Sweden (2010); Hamburg, Germany (2011); Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain (2012); Nantes, France (2013); Copenhagen, Denmark (2014); Bristol, UK (2015); Ljubljana, Slovenia (2016); Essen, Germany (2017); Nijmegen, Netherlands (2018) and Oslo, Norway (2019).
To date there have been five winners of the European Green Leaf drawn from five Member States. The cities of Mollet del Vallès, Spain and Torres Vedras, Portugal were awarded the Green Leaf Award in 2015, Galway, Ireland, in 2017 and Leuven, Belgium and Växjö, Sweden, in 2018.
Cities are initially technically assessed by an international panel of experts on 12 environmental indicators for the EGCA and six topic areas for the EGLA. Shortlisted cities then present to an international Jury chaired by the European Commission with members drawn from representative bodies including the Committee of the Regions, Covenant of Mayors, European Parliament, Eurocities, and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.
‘This annual competition among cities has grown to be a very significant environmental initiative across the Member States from north to south and from east to west’ says Director General Daniel Calleja Crespo.
‘Each city has its own unique character and environmental problems to address but by sharing these issues and solutions that learning is transferred from city to city. Examples of issues addressed include the need to adapt to future climate change, to better manage our water resources and transform waste management into circular economy solutions. This Award celebrates the many cities who have entered the competition, have been shortlisted and who have won – all of whom are determined to exchange ideas, learn more sustainable practices, to inspire others and to collaborate in the future as a network of European cities’ he concluded.
To date some 86 cities have entered the awards drawn from 26 Member States which indicates a high level of engagement over the past 10 years. We will continue to build on this enthusiasm of cities to be leaders of urban sustainability and to inspire other cities.
The European Green Capital 2020 award winner will be announced at the Awards Ceremony in June 2018 from a shortlist of three cities – Ghent (Belgium), Lahti (Finland) and Lisbon (Portugal).The European Green Leaf 2019 award will also be announced at the same event in Nijmegen.