European Green Leaf Award

The European Green Leaf Award is open to all towns and cities across Europe with a population of 20,000 and up to 100,000 inhabitants. The rules of contest for the latest cycle of the European Green Leaf Award are available here. The rules of contest must be adhered to in order for applicant cities to submit eligible applications.

The 2021 European Green Leaf title was jointly awarded to Gabrovoin Bulgaria and Lappeenranta in Finland.

For 2020, the European Green Leaf title was jointly awarded to Limerick in Ireland and Mechelen in Belgium. Former winning cities include: Leuven (Belgium),Galway (Ireland), Horst aan de Maas (The Netherlands), Cornellà de Llobregat, and Mollet del Vallès (Spain). Torres Vedras (Portugal) and Växjö (Sweden).

The European competition recognises a city’s commitment to better environmental outcomes. The scheme has a particular focus on efforts that generate green growth and new jobs.

Press Releases for the winning European Green Leaf Cities can be found below:

Valongo and Winterswijk

Gabrovo and Lappeenranta

Limerick and Mechelen

Cornellà de Llobregat and Horst aan de Maas

Leuven and  Växjö 


Torres Vedras

Mollet del Vallès

What is the European Green Leaf Award?

Gain recognition for your environmental achievements

The European Green Leaf Award is a competition aimed at cities and towns across Europe, with between populations of 20,000 and up to 100,000 inhabitants, that recognises commitment to better environmental outcomes, with a particular accent on efforts that generate green growth and new jobs.

The objectives of the European Green Leaf Award are threefold:

  • To recognise cities that demonstrate a good environmental record and commitment to generating green growth;
  • To encourage cities to actively develop citizens’ environmental awareness and involvement;
  • To identify cities able to act as a ‘green ambassador’ and to encourage other cities to progress towards a better sustainability outcomes.

The European Green Leaf Award is presented on an annual basis by the European Commission in conjunction with the European Green Capital Award.


To underpin the work of creating an ever-better environment for European citizens, the EU adopted the 7th Environment Action Programme (7th EAP) entitled “Living well, within the limits of our planet”. It provides the basis for EU environment policy up to 2020. This programme aims to enhance Europe’s ecological resilience and transform the EU into an inclusive and sustainable green economy.

The 7th EAP includes a specific policy objective “To enhance the sustainability of EU cities”. It foresees that the EU will promote and expand existing initiatives that support innovation and best practices in cities, enabling better networking and exchanges between cities and encouraging the leading ones to show how they lead on sustainable urban development.

The European Green Capital Award (EGCA) launched in 2008, is one such initiative. Following its success, many smaller cities seek EU recognition of their effort and commitment in the areas of sustainability & environment. In response, the European Commission launched the European Green Leaf Award.

Source: European Green Leaf Award - European Commission

Afbeelding credits

Icon afbeelding: EU Green leaf award