Today, the European Commission announced the winners of the second edition of the European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Awards, aimed at highlighting towns, cities and regions across the EU leading by example in inclusive policies. This year’s winners are spread across seven Member States – Belgium, Croatia, Finland, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain – and have been recognised for their work to build fairer societies by promoting diversity and inclusion in terms of sex; racial and ethnic origin; religion and belief; disability; age and LGBTIQ rights.
Terrassa City Council, Spain, is the gold-winner in the category of local authorities above 50,000 inhabitants for its strong intersectional and cross cutting strategy around inclusion and diversity, followed by the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium (silver), and the City of Helsinki, Finland (bronze). Spain’s Town Hall La Zarza is the gold-winner for local authorities with fewer than 50,000 inhabitants for its initiatives across communication, training, employment and accessibility among others, followed by the Town of Labin, Croatia (silver), and the Municipality of Fundão, Portugal (bronze). Gdańsk, Poland, is the winner of the special award for fostering LGBTIQ equality for its numerous initiatives involving inclusive public services and support for victims of discrimination, followed by Catalonia, Spain (silver), and City of Reggio Emilia, Italy (bronze). More information about the specific initiatives put in place by the winners and the awards can be found here.
Launched within the EU’s Anti-Racism Action Plan 2020-2025, the annual European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Awards are part of the Commission’s work towards a Union of Equality.
Applications for the second edition were open from 6 December 2022 to 15 February 2023. Applications in all categories were evaluated by a jury of experts based on a range of criteria, including the nature and scope of initiatives, ownership and level of commitment, their impact, quality and sustainability of initiatives and the involvement of people exposed to discrimination in policy-making.
The winners of this year’s Awards were announced during a ceremony held today in Brussels, marking the launch of the 2023 European Diversity Month.
The European Diversity Month was first held in May 2020 as part of the 10th anniversary of the EU Platform for Diversity Charters. It celebrates efforts by organisations to help build equal and inclusive environments for the benefit of all. This initiative is part of the European Commission’s commitment to fight discrimination and promote diverse and inclusive workplaces.
For more information
- EU Diversity 2023 initiatives and Award website: https://eudiversity2023.eu/
- Media toolkit: https://eudiversity2023.eu/the-award/media-centre/
- Award media backgrounder: https://eudiversity2023.eu/media/dgcf4l4f/diversity-2023_media-advisory_en_final_v015122022.pdf
Thank you to everyone who applied. At a time when progress in advancing the rights of the most vulnerable groups in our societies is at risk, these local authorities are going above and beyond to protect and promote dignity and freedom for everyone in their communities. Their initiatives have concrete and direct impact on the ground and bring the values which represent our union into real actions.
Today we celebrate European cities and local communities fostering a sense of belonging and the sharing of common values. Where diversity and inclusion are elevated as a priority, it is also a source of wealth and innovation. Congratulations to all winners and candidates who applied for the Award. Your dedication, efforts and outstanding work are an inspiration for others.