Application period

The Call for Applications was launched on 4 January 2020. Interested cities were able to participate in a series of webinars to help them navigate the application and evaluation process.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade and the International Trade Centre decided to extend the application deadline to Sunday 12 July 2020 at 18:00 CET. 

Application management

The applications submitted through the online portal were received, screened and processed by the Award Secretariat. It forwards all valid applications to the Evaluation Committee. The Secretariat followed up with applicant cities for clarification if and where needed.

Read more about the Award Secretariat’s role.


The Evaluation Committee reviewed all valid applications and put forward a shortlist to the Jury in August 2020. Shortlisted cities were invited to pitch their application in front of the Jury in September 2020 via video-conference. The Jury then choosed the overall winner and individual category winners (‘Special Mentions’) by closed vote in September 2020.

Read more about the assessment.


The Award winner and ‘Special Mentions’ were announced at the Award Ceremony in October 2020 in Ghent, Belgium. In addition to recognizing the winners, the Award ceremony also included a space where finalists were able to present their accomplishments, exchange ideas and virtually network with each other and international experts.

The EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award is an initiative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade implemented by the International Trade Centre.