At their meeting in Milan on 17 September 2020, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Italian President Sergio Mattarella announced their intention to award a prize in recognition of the municipal partnership between Germany and Italy. The prize is intended to promote cross-border collaboration at the local level and to encourage the work of pre-existing, forward-looking municipal partnerships.
These over 400 municipal partnerships are at the heart of bilateral cooperation between Germany and Italy and are an indispensable part of a vibrant Europe of civil societies. Cross-border collaboration in a spirit of solidarity and the connections established thanks to municipal partnerships have come to the fore especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the application documents published today, both Presidents as well as the Federal Foreign Office and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs are inviting municipalities to apply for this prize on the basis of this cooperation in a spirit of partnership.
Applications are open to German and Italian municipalities that, at the time of application, are linked by a municipal or German-Italian partnership in the sense of a pre-existing cooperative partnership, preferably one that has been in place for a number of years. Awards will be presented to projects in the categories of culture, youth and civic engagement, as well as innovation and social cohesion. A total of four prizes will be awarded, two of which to small and medium-sized municipalities (up to 40,000 inhabitants) and two to larger municipalities (40,000 inhabitants or more). The prize is endowed with a total of 200,000 euro and is funded equally by the Italian and German Governments.
The terms and conditions of the competition, as well as an application form, can be found here (only in German). The deadline for applications is 31 May 2021. The winners will be selected by a jury consisting of an equal number of German and Italian members and will be awarded at a public award ceremony by the two Presidents in autumn 2021.