BBLF and partner news

New award to promote diversity and inclusion in the EU: European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity

January 21, 2022
New award to promote diversity and inclusion in the EU: European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity

The Bulgarian Diversity Charter is happy to announce that Bulgarian cities and towns can now apply for the European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Award.

In 2022, the European Commission will announce the winners of the newly launched European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Award at a ceremony hosted by the Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli. The event will bring together policymakers, city officials, and representatives from diversity organisations across Europe and kick off EU Diversity Month

The Award competition is open to any town, city or region in the EU. It will reward winners in two categories: local authorities with less than 50,000 inhabitants and local authorities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. There will also be a special Award for local authorities promoting Roma inclusion.

The event will take place online and at a venue in Brussels on 28 April 2022. More detailed information will be available shortly.

For details: https://eudiversity2022.eu/the-award/

About the European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Award competition

The European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Award recognises the work done by cities, towns, or regions in the European Union to promote inclusion and create discrimination-free societies.

It is a chance for local authorities to showcase policies and initiatives that create more diverse and inclusive spaces for their citizens. These initiatives may have already been implemented or be in the process of being implemented.

The Award covers diversity and inclusion initiatives that tackle all discrimination grounds (sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation) and intersectionality.

Competition timeline

  • Entries submissions: from 22 November to 15 February 2022, at 12h00 PM CET
  • Expert and jury evaluation of entries: from 15 February to 31 March 2022
  • Announcement of finalists: beginning of April 2022 (expected)
  • Prize-giving ceremony: 28 April 2022

 What is the European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Award?

This competition is the first edition of the European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Award, part of the European Diversity Month initiative. The Award recognises and rewards local authorities across the EU that actively promote inclusion and diversity and help to build a better Europe.

The competition is a chance for cities, towns, or regions to highlight policies and initiatives that create more diverse and inclusive spaces for their citizens. These initiatives may have already been implemented or be in the process of being implemented.

Why will the European Commission designate a European Capital of Inclusion and Diversity?

Equality and non-discrimination are core values and fundamental rights in the EU, enshrined in its Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Nevertheless, discrimination persists; with over 1 in 2 Europeans (59%) believing that discrimination based on one’s ethnic origin is widespread. One in three people of African descent says they have experienced racist harassment in the five last years. Discrimination against LGBTIQ people also continues throughout the EU, with 43% of LGBTIQ people declaring that they felt discriminated against in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic has also widened the gender gap, and women earn on average 16 % less than men across the EU. There are still many obstacles faced by people with disabilities when accessing essential services, healthcare, education, employment, and political life. And Roma people continue to face discrimination, racism, and social exclusion.

The creation of the European Capital of Inclusion and Diversity Award is part of the European Commission’s ongoing efforts to promote equality and combat discrimination. The Award will focus on inclusion by recognising local authorities’ efforts to build more inclusive and fair societies so that all members of our communities can reach their potential and no one is left behind.

Who can apply?

The Award is open to local authorities in the 27 countries of the European Union that actively practice inclusion policies covering sex, age, disability, LGBTIQ identity, religion, and ethnic/racial origin discrimination.

The applicant must be an administrative unit governed by a city council or a democratically elected governmental body; it is open to towns, cities, and regions within the European Union.

Are there special Award categories?

There are two categories for 2022, one for local authorities with less than 50,000 inhabitants and one for those with more than 50,000 inhabitants. There is also a special prize for Roma inclusion in 2022.

What types of diversity initiatives is the Award planning to recognise?

The competition will reward diversity and inclusion initiatives that tackle all discrimination grounds (sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation) and intersectionality.

How will the winners be selected?

Applications for the Awards will be subject to an eligibility check and pre-assessment by independent experts. A European Jury will make the final selection in the two General categories and for the Roma Award.

Who will evaluate Award entries?

The European Commission will appoint independent experts for the pre-assessment phase and the European Jury members for the final selection phase. The European Jury will be made up of at least five members representing European non-governmental organisations. The European Jury for the Roma-Specific Award will comprise at least five people representing European non-governmental organisations and other relevant national and European stakeholders.

When and where will the award ceremony take place?

A ceremony announcing the award winners will take place in Brussels on 28 April 2022. The high-level event will be attended by the Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, and will bring together policymakers, city officials and representatives from diversity organisations.