The European Green Capital 2023 Award goes to the Estonian city of Tallinn, while the title of European Green Leaf 2022 jointly went to the Portuguese city of Valongo and Winterswijk in the Netherlands.
During the ceremony Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius highlighted the crucial role of cities in championing the green transition objectives of the European Green Deal.
“The cities of Tallinn, Valongo and Winterswijk have demonstrated commitment and concrete actions to create healthier, better and greener places for their citizens,” commented Commissioner Sinkevičius. “Despite another year under COVID-19 constraints, the ambitions for a green transition remain high. The winners this year have convinced us of their ability to go the extra mile for sustainability and lead the way in creating cities that are fit for life.”
Tallinn will be granted a financial prize of 600.000 euros. The prize will contribute to support the winning city in implementing the initiatives and measures to enhance the city’s environmental sustainability as part of the winning city’s European Green Capital year 2023.
Tallinn impressed the international Jury with its systemic approach to green governance and interlinked strategic goals, which reflect the ambitions of the European Green Deal. As one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tallinn is characterised by a diverse and mosaic nature of its landscapes and communities, which also serve as habitats for rare species.
Tallinn will lead the newly launched network of 19 European cities, which aims to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the local level, focusing among other things on poverty eradication, gender equality, clean water, climate change, sustainable cities and energy sustainability, economic growth and employment.
The European Green Capital Award was launched by the European Commission to encourage cities to become greener and cleaner and thereby to improve the quality of life for their citizens. With 75 per cent of the European Union’s population living in cities and with the urban population expected to rise even further, cities play the leading role in the social, environmental and economic transformation initiated by the European Green Deal, leading by example and inspiring and motivating others to join in.