The European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism is the successor of the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) competition which was first introduced by the European Commission in 2007 as an initiative to reward non-traditional, emerging sustainable tourism destinations in Europe. It is the equivalent of the European Capital of Smart Tourism award, for smaller and sustainable destinations. This award aims to recognise smaller destinations that have implemented successful strategies to boost sustainable tourism through green transition practices.
The competition is open to cities in EU Member States and COSME (Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom) and Single Market (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) countries, with populations between 25.000 and 100.000 inhabitants. For smaller states with total population below 1 million, cities with 5.000 inhabitants are eligible to apply. (Please see “3.2 Eligibility Requirements” in the Guide for Applicants)
Only cities located in EU Member States or COSME (Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom) or Single Market (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) countries, are eligible to apply. The participating countries can be found here (Please see “3.2 Eligibility Requirements” in the Guide for Applicants)
Which COSME and Single Market countries are eligible to apply for the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism competition?
The countries participating in the COSME programme are eligible to apply: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/39579
The countries participating in the Single Market programme are also eligible to apply: as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/docs/2021-2027/…
You may apply in any official language of the European Union. We would suggest writing, or submitting material, in English, to the extent possible, to speed up the evaluation process and comparability of applications. (Please see “3.1 Technical Requirements” in the Guide for Applicants) or visit this website
If you are not a legal representative of the city applying, you cannot apply in the name of the city. However, you are welcome to participate and help your city with the application and talk to your Mayor/the Tourist Office, but the signatory of the application should be the Mayor or the highest-ranking city representative, authorised by national law to legally represent the city. (Please see “3.2 Eligibility Requirements” in the Guide for Applicants)
Applications will be submitted via an online registration tool, which you can find by clicking on “Apply now” on the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism competition webpage. You have to register in the name of your city and then you can start filling in your application! (Please see “7. How to Apply: Step by Step” in the Guide for Applicants) For more details, see here: https://smart-tourism-capital.ec.europa.eu/apply/european-green-pioneer…
Once I have started the application process, can I pause and go back to the application a few days later?
Yes, you can save the application and work on it continuously up until the deadline. (Please see “7.2.3 Step 3: Editing your proposal” in the Guide for Applicants)
Yes. You can create multiple accounts per city and work on the application together. A single application by a city can have multiple co-authors. The person who first creates an account for the city needs to make sure that the submitting author has allowed co-authors to edit the application. (Please see “7.2.1 Step 1: Create your account” in the Guide for Applicants)
You can read about and the assessment criteria in particular in our Guide for Applicants (See “4. Assessment criteria and guidelines” in the Guide for Applicants)
During the Evaluation Step 1 all submitted and admissible applications will be reviewed against the assessment criteria linked to a clear points-system by a panel of independent experts in the field of tourism (Please see “5. The Evaluation process” in the Guide for Applicants). Each of the experts has an in-depth knowledge in sustainability. A maximum of 4 cities with the highest overall score of all four categories combined will be shortlisted as finalists. During the Evaluation Step 2, the shortlisted cities will be invited to present their candidatures and the programme they intend to implement during the year they will hold the title as the potential European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism, in front of the European Jury, who will take the final decision on the winner. (See “5. The evaluation process” in the Guide for Applicants)
The winner of the title of European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism will receive a year of expert communication and branding support in promoting the destination to the media and online, a sculpture for its city centre, a promotional video on the destination and smart tourism offer, and many other promotional actions in the name of the initiative that are designed to raise the profile of the city and boost visitor numbers.
We have won a city award by the European Union / currently hold an award by the European Union in this year’s cycle. Can we still apply for the “European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism”?
Winners of other European awards are eligible to take part in the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism. EDEN winning destinations from previous EU-wide editions of the EDEN competition are not eligible to compete for the European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism. Runner-ups of the national and EU-wide former editions are eligible.
All submitted, admissible and eligible applications are evaluated against a set of established criteria by a panel of independent experts. On the basis of their evaluation, the Commission establishes a shortlist of 4 cities which will be announced in September 2023.