The 2022 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 İzmir in Turkey.
Located on the Aegean Sea, İzmir is the second largest port in Turkey after Istanbul and the third largest city in Turkey, with four million inhabitants. The city is twinned with 24 cities around the world. It pays significant attention to co-operation in political, economic, social and cultural fields with municipalities abroad and has received numerous foreign delegations.
As a congress city, it regularly organises several major events: the İzmir International Fair, the Balkan Folk Dance Festival, the International Economic Congress and the İzmir International Jazz Festival.
In 2021, due to the pandemic, the city organised the first international virtual marathon in İzmir's history. In the summer of 2021, İzmir also organised the İzmir International Film and Music Festival, the European Music Day and the 5th İzmir International Literature Festival around personalities from the literary world of Europe and beyond.
Europe Day is celebrated every year with many events such as the visit of the Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, information meetings and discussions on European opportunities in some municipalities, associations and universities, and Eurodesk information stands in universities.
İzmir is a city of solidarity that helps victims of natural disasters and people in need. It strives to integrate migrants into the İzmir way of life and implements the "Sister Family" project in which migrant families and İzmir families spend time together and get to know each other.
It also plays an active role in international organisations such as EUROCITIES, the Network of Mediterranean Cities (MedCities), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and the WHO European Healthy Cities Network, to name but a few.
Five other towns, namely Bamberg and Ingolstadt in Germany, Bolesławiec in Poland, Palanga in Lithuania, and Ternopil in Ukraine 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 4 Plaques of Honour, 5 Flags of Honour and 4 European Diplomas – awards which also form part of the Europe Prize. Full details here.
Completed questionnaire to be submitted by 15 January 2023.
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 46 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 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.