Each programme can present up to 5 applications. Depending on the number of applications, the JS might proceed to a screening. In such case, the JS will communicate the results to all participating projects and write a letter of endorsement for the selected ones. The letter of endorsement is mandatory to apply. It is then up to the project Lead Partner to submit the application via an online form (the application must be authored by the organism leading the project). 

How to participate in the JS screening:
  • The deadline to send your expression of interest to the JS is 3rd April. The selection will be released by 10th April so projects have at least one month to complete their applications.
  • To make your expression of interest, please fill points 4 and 5 of the II. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT in the application form (enclosed). The JS screening will be based on the replies to these questions. Once the screening decided, the selected projects must complete and submit the application, with the letter of endorsement.  
  • Applications can be submitted in one of the EU languages. For the purpose of the JS screening, we kindly ask you to submit the requested points it in English or French to help the JS make the selection.

After 9th May, the applications will be firstly assessed by an independent jury of 15 high-level academics, appointed by the European Commission, to pre-select the finalists by July. On a second step, the Jury will select the winners and the public will be also invited to vote online for the public choice award, until October.

The finalists and, especially, the winners will be offered many advantages. For the finalists, a meeting with the commissioner combined with a special training session is foreseen. For the winners of each category, the Commission will produce a promotional video, and the project will be presented during a dedicated press conference. On top of that, the winner of the five categories will be receiving a 5,000 EUR media partnership to further promote the project.  


Five thematic categories (smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, urban development and a topic of the year) are considered in this year’s edition:

  • Industrial transition for a smart Europe (smart growth);
  • Circular Economy for a green Europe (sustainable growth);
  • Skills&Education for a digital Europe (inclusive growth);
  • Citizens engagement for cohesive European cities (urban development);
  • 30 years of Interreg: Youth empowerment for cooperation across borders (Topic of the Year).

There can be up to five project applications in the same category. However, the same project cannot apply for more than one category. And the maximum number of applications per programme is five.


  • Projects from both the 2007-2013 and the 2014-2020 periods are eligible;
  • A single project per category and the same project cannot apply for different categories;
  • Projects receiving ERDF and IPA funds.

The Programme will select the applications that best meet the award selection criteria in its outmost level:

  • Projects must be either fully implemented or should be in a sufficiently mature state for the jury to demonstrate achievement of objectives. 
  • Projects must demonstrate they are fully innovative in the award category they are applying for. No “business as usual”, but new approaches, new organisational methods or the development of new (or significantly) improved goods or services 
  • Projects must demonstrate their impact on the thematic area and territory concerned and show their results against the initially set targets and objectives, as well as against the state of play in the regional context 
  • They must demonstrate financial sustainability beyond the lifespan of the (initial) EU-funded operation;  
  • Communication and transferability: to demonstrate it represents good practice in a wider (EU) context and that it inspired/inspires other regions. The project should also show good ways of communicating its goals and results.


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