Commission launches search for European Green Capital 2014.

Today the search to find the city that will inherit the prestigious title in 2014 begins. Four cities – Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Nantes – have been awarded the title so far, from 2010 to 2013 respectively. The European Green Capital Award recognizes and rewards 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 help European cities become more attractive and healthy places – “fit for life”.

Commissioner Potočnik said: “The European Green Capital Award is a powerful incentive to help convince local authorities that sustainable urban development is the key to a successful future. I am looking forward to receiving new applications from all over Europe showing how investing in environmental protection can be combined with economic growth and improved wellbeing”.

Today all cities across Europe with more than 200,000 inhabitants can apply for the title of European Green Capital 2014. In countries where there is no city with more than 200,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply.

The award is open to EU Member States, Candidate Countries (Turkey, FYROM, Croatia, Montenegro and Iceland) and European Economic Area countries (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein).

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.

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

Cities can apply via an online application form at http://www.europeangreencapital.eu/

The deadline for applications for the 2014 title is 14 October 2011. 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 2012.

Learn more about the current European Green Capital – Hamburg on: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/winning-cities/2011-hamburg/index.html