The 2021 Europe Prize – the highest level of the Prize which is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to the town most active in promoting the European ideal – has been awarded to Khmelnytskyi in Ukraine.
Khmelnytskyi is a city of 290 000 inhabitants located in the west of Ukraine, in the historic region of Podolia, on the banks of the Boug river.
The city actively co-operates with 13 twin cities: Silistra (Bulgaria), Rustavi (Georgia), Šiauliai (Lithuania), Bălţi (Republic of Moldova), Ciechanów (Poland), Bor (Serbia), Manises (Spain), Kramfors (Sweden), Starobilsk (Ukraine), Carmel (Israel), Aguascalientes (Mexico), Modesto (United States) and Shijiazhuang (China). The city is constantly seeking to expand its co-operation and establish economic, scientific, technical and cultural partnerships with new cities. It is also very concerned with environmental issues and leads projects in this area.
Young people are at the heart of the activities organised throughout the year by Khmelnytskyi: joint programmes between schools, colleges and universities with educational establishments in other European countries; organising “Europe Week” in schools; and familiarising young people with the history, culture and traditions of European countries through various events.
Khmelnytskyi has been celebrating Europe Day since 2003, notably by organising festivals of European culture under the banner “Europe in our heart” and quizzes and competitions for pupils, as well as arranging meetings of European clubs in educational institutions. The European flag is raised to celebrate local and national holidays, including Europe Day and the European Day of Languages.
To ensure co-operation with its twin cities, Khmelnytskyi created a unique project in 2020: an online platform of twin cities, which includes exhibitions by Khmelnytskyi and its twin cities, with coverage of investment and export opportunities, and presentation of strategic projects. The platform allows citizens to find useful information about the twinned cities and make useful contacts.
Three other towns - namely Bamberg in Germany, Kielce in Poland and Münster in Germany - were also shortlisted for the Prize, and the committee commended their applications.
Created by PACE in 1955, the Europe Prize is the highest distinction that can be bestowed on a European town for its actions in the European domain. The prize consists of a trophy, a medal, a diploma and a scholarship to be spent on a study visit to European institutions for young people from the winning town.
The committee also awarded 5 Plaques of Honour, 4 Flags of Honour and 6 European Diplomas – awards which also form part of the Europe Prize. Full details here.
Completed questionnaire to be submitted by 15 January 2022.
Please note that there is only one method to submit one's application: the on-line form. Unfortunately, applications submitted by other means cannot be accepted.
Any municipality in any of the Council of Europe 47 member States.
Several years, but municipalities should provide the Secretariat with an update on their European activities.
For each distinction the online form must be used. Please submit a report of the previous year's European activities, with press articles, to the Secretariat.
The Europe Prize Sub-Committee (composed of members of the Parliamentary Assembly) examines applications for all 4 distinctions at the end of April and submits its choice to the Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development for approval. Winning municipalities are informed by post and/or e-mail. Confirmation and suggestions for organizing the ceremony follow by post.
Press releases from previous years
Distinctions from previous years
European diploma presentation ceremony photo galleries (French only)
Created by the Parliamentary Assembly in 1955, the Europe Prize is the highest distinction that can be bestowed on a European town for its actions in the European domain. It consists of a trophy, a medal, a diploma and a scholarship to be spent on a study visit within Europe for young people from the winning municipality.
In 2021 a new Europe Prize trophy replaced the original trophy dating from the creation of the Prize in 1955. Designed by a team of young graphic artists from the Strate School of Design in France and manufactured by Atelier S. Gérard in Paris, it was selected as the winning design after a 2019 competition among young people from across the Council of Europe’s 47 member States. As with the previous trophy, it will travel from city to city throughout Europe, displayed for a year in each winning town.
The Prize rewards municipalities for their active promotion of the European ideal (twinnings, European events, exchange visits, etc.), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe offers every year four awards: the European Diploma, the Flag of Honour, the Plaque of Honour and the Europe Prize.
The awarding of the various prize levels is progressive. Following the entry level European Diploma, applicant municipalities should subsequently apply for the Flag of Honour then the Plaque of Honour in order to compete at the highest level: the Europe Prize.
Click on the diagram to see more.