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Groundbreaking Politics in Europe

Once a year, the „Innovation in Politics Awards“ honors the most innovative political projects in Europe. Political Projects are awarded in 9 categories. A jury of 1,000 citizens decides who will take home one of the highly coveted trophies. 

How can home quarantine work for people without a home? How can the increasing number of parcel deliveries be organised without further increase of inner-city traffic? And what kind of support can politicians offer to local companies? In times of the pandemic, politicians are challenged more than ever. New and courageous solutions must be found quickly to improve the quality of life for citizens. Last year’s Innovation in Politics Awards have demonstrated that the crisis is clearly the time for innovation in politics.

This year the Innovation in Politics Awards are looking for best practice in politics for the fifth time. European citizens can now nominate projects in nine different categories, and politicians can submit their own projects. Politics is still struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and to find ways to recover from its consequences. And for this reason, the COVID-19 Strategies category introduced in 2020 will be retained this time around.

The other categories are: Community, Democracy, Digitalisation, Ecology, Economy, Education, Human Rights, and Quality of Life. All submissions will be assessed by a Europe-wide citizens’ jury. In each category, the 10 projects with the highest jury ratings will be the finalists. The nine winners will be announced at a ceremony in December.

An overview of some of the key information about the Innovation in Politics Awards 2021:

  1. Submission: Citizens can nominate innovative political initiatives or politicians can submit their own projects online until 1 July 2021.
  2. Evaluation: All of the submitted projects will be checked to make sure they include all of the required information and meet the submission criteria.
  3. Citizens’ jury: Every year, a jury of 1,000 citizens decides who will win The Innovation in Politics Awards. Anyone interested in participating as a juror can apply until 20 August 2021. All citizens of the 47 Council of Europe member states are eligible; the minimum age is 16. The jury will evaluate the submitted projects based on the criteria of innovation, participation and sustainability. When dividing the projects between the jurors, steps will be taken to ensure that nobody assesses a project from their own country.
  4. Announcement of the finalists: The names of the ten finalists in each of the nine categories will be published on the Awards website at the end of September 2021.
  5. Announcement of the winners: All of the finalists will be invited to the Politics, Coffee & Cake conference in December 2021, which will be followed by a gala event. At the conference, the finalists will have the opportunity to present and describe their projects to guests from the worlds of politics, business and the media, as well as representatives of various foundations. The nine winners will be announced and will receive their prizes at the gala awards ceremony. The format will be adapted to take account of the current COVID-19 situation.

Flagship political projects in Europe

More than 1,600 political projects have been entered for The Innovation in Politics Awards since 2017. Over 4,000 European citizens have acted as jurors, selecting a total of 33 winners from 330 finalists. Germany currently leads the way with six winning projects, followed by France (five), the UK (four) and Poland (three).The Awards are initiated and organised by the Innovation in Politics Institute with an international network of offices and partner organisations in 20 European countries.

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Written by Laura Giesen

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