FAQ

GENERAL ASPECTS

What are The Innovation in Politics Awards?

The Innovation in Politics Awards recognise creative, courageous politicians and their innovative projects. They have been presented annually since 2017. Every year, a citizens’ jury of over 1,000 Europeans evaluates the projects to determine the finalists and winners in the Awards’ nine categories.

Who is behind the Awards?

The Awards are presented by The Innovation in Politics Institute. We are a private, non-partisan organisation, supported by a Europe-wide group of concerned citizens from a broad political spectrum. We are represented in twenty European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Our representatives in these countries provide information and support in their respective local languages.

What is the purpose of the Awards?

We see it as our mission to recognise and support politicians in Europe who have the courage to break new ground with creative initiatives that achieve results – regardless of their party affiliation or governmental level. We present the Awards because we want European politics to improve.

Our quality of life is deeply dependent on the quality of our politics, and on our European values: human rights, social balance and democracy. These values are currently under threat − from nationalists who want to divide us into small, weak countries, as well as from global changes.

Against this backdrop, the finalists of The Innovation in Politics Awards form a growing network of credible and reputable politicians working for a stronger Europe.

What type of projects are eligible for the Awards?

The Awards are presented in nine categories: Community, Democracy, Digitalisation, Ecology, Economy, Education, Human Rights, Quality of Life, and Covid-19 Strategies.The projects must be innovative and are also evaluated on the criteria of Participation and Sustainability.

How many winners are there and what are the prizes?

The ten entries with the highest scores in each of the nine categories are automatically selected as the finalists. The owners of these projects are invited to the Awards’ gala ceremony and conference (date and venue to be announced before the summer). The projects with the highest score in each category are selected as the category winners, who receive an Innovation in Politics Awards trophy.

Can I participate?

If you are a resident of a member country of the Council of Europe, you can nominate a project which fulfils the formal criteria, and you can also apply to become a juror (for details see the “Nominations” and “Jury Applications” sections).

If you are a politician who is responsible for a project that fulfils the criteria, you can submit it for the Awards (for details see the “Submissions” section).

Nominations

What is the difference between nominations and submissions?

A nomination brings a project to our attention – this is something anyone can do. After receiving a nomination, we contact the politician responsible for the project and invite him or her to officially submit it to the Awards competition.

Can I nominate a project?

Yes, if you know of an eligible project in a member country of the Council of Europe, we encourage you to nominate it. Nominating a project only takes a few minutes.

What kind of projects can be nominated?

The Awards are presented in the nine categories of Community, Democracy, Digitalisation, Ecology, Economy, Education, Human Rights, Quality of Life, and Covid-19 Strategies. The projects must be innovative and are also evaluated on the criteria of Participation and Sustainability.

What are the formal criteria for a project to be accepted?

  • It must have been implemented in a member country of the Council of Europe (CoE).
  • At least one elected politician must have been involved in the project: e.g. as member of the steering committee; by providing the budget from their department; by providing support in relation to the project’s financing or staffing; by providing political support; by providing important visionary input or strategic guidance. Please note that involvement in a purely honorary role such serving as the initiative’s patron, with no further involvement, is not sufficient.
  • It must have been financed (at least partially) by public funds.
  • It must have been implemented within the last five years or been substantially developed within this timeframe.
  • It must have had a substantial impact on the lives of people in a CoE member country (the following will therefore not be accepted: pure communication campaigns or events, scientific studies, and projects at the planning stage).
  • It must uphold the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

What information do I have to provide?

  • Your name and contact details
  • The project title and a brief description
  • A link to the project website
  • The name and contact details of the politician responsible for the project

What happens after I have nominated a project?

We will confirm that we have received your nomination. We will then invite the respective politician to submit the project. If he or she decides to do so, we will inform you that the project you nominated has been officially submitted.

SUBMISSIONS

Can I submit a project?

Only the “project owner” (i.e. the politician or politicians responsible for the project) can officially submit a project for the Innovation in Politics Awards. If you are the project owner and your project fulfils the formal criteria, we encourage you to submit it.

What kind of projects can be submitted?

The Awards are presented in the nine categories of Community, Democracy, Digitalisation, Ecology, Economy, Education, Human Rights, Quality of Life, and Covid-19 Strategies. The projects must be innovative and are also evaluated on the criteria of Participation and Sustainability.

What are the formal criteria for a project to be accepted?

  • It must have been implemented in a member country of the Council of Europe (CoE).
  • At least one elected politician must have been involved in the project: e.g. as member of the steering committee; by providing the budget from their department; by providing support in relation to the project’s financing or staffing; by providing political support; by providing important visionary input or strategic guidance. Please note that involvement in a purely honorary role such as serving as the initiative’s patron, with no further involvement, is not sufficient.
  • It must have been financed (at least partially) by public funds.
  • It must have been implemented within the last five years or been substantially developed within this timeframe.
  • It must have had a substantial impact on the lives of people in a CoE member country (the following will therefore not be accepted: pure communication campaigns or events, scientific studies, and projects at the planning stage).
  • It must uphold the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

What are the evaluation criteria?

  • The most important criterion is innovation. The project must break new ground while addressing a challenge in its sphere of influence (municipality, region or country). It does not need to be a “world first”. What counts is taking a new approach in the country or region where the project was/is being realised, and effective adaptation to the local culture and needs.
  • 50% of the total score is awarded for the project’s degree of innovation.

The project is also evaluated on the following two criteria, which each account for 25% of the total score:

  1. Participation. Motivating citizens to participate extensively in the project, and bringing together people with different backgrounds or political views.
  2. Sustainability: Creating lasting and sustainable improvements in people’s lives and producing high output in relation to the financial input.

Is there a submission fee?

No, there are no charges for submitting a project.

How do I submit a project?

You can enter your project using the online form which guides you through the whole submission process.

How many projects can I submit?

You can submit up to three projects per politician/“project owner”.

What languages can I use?

The working language for the Awards is English. This is the language in which your submission will be presented to the international jury. However, you can submit a project in any European language. We will translate submissions in European languages other than English free of charge.

What information must I provide?

  • Submissions must contain the following information:
    – Project owner’s name, description of his/her political office, contact details
    – Location (country, region, city)
    – Contact person for queries (if other than the submitter)
    – Title of project
    – Short description of the project
  • An explanation of how your project meets the three evaluation criteria.
  • Category in which the project is to be entered (and an optional second category)
  • Supplementary information (optional, in English only)
    – Charts/tables/diagrams
    – Video
    – Audio
    – Photos
    – Links to websites and social media sites (if no registration required)
Please note: Your project will be evaluated by a Europe-wide citizens’ jury. The better the quality of the information you provide, the more effectively they will be able to evaluate your project.

What happens after I have made a submission?

  • We will confirm that we have received your submission. If there is any important information missing, we will contact you and ask for additional details.
  • If your submission is in a language other than English, it will be translated (free of charge) by a certified translation office.
  • Submissions in English are checked by our staff to ensure that the projects meet the formal criteria (see above). We may ask for additional information or declare a project ineligible if it does not meet the formal criteria.

CITIZENS’ JURY: APPLYING TO BECOME A MEMBER AND SELECTION PROCESS

Can I become a juror for the citizens’ jury?

If you are a resident of one of the member countries of the Council of Europe*, and have reached the legal age applicable in your country, you are welcome to apply to become a juror.

If selected, you will evaluate a number of exciting political projects from different parts of Europe.

All evaluations will be carried out online. In order to evaluate the submitted projects, you must have advanced reading skills in English.

* including Kosovo

How can I apply?

Please use the “Become a Juror” online application form. You will be guided through the application process.

What information do I have to provide?

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Your full name
  • A valid email address
  • Your country of residence
  • Your year and month of birth

How are the jurors selected?

A minimum of 1,000 jurors will be selected by the Awards office. We aim to create a highly diverse jury which reflects Europe’s demography.

Do jurors receive financial compensation?

Jurors are not paid, but all jurors will be entered into a prize draw to win an invitation to the awards conference and gala ceremony (date and venue to be announced before summer; travel expenses will be reimbursed and accommodation will be provided).

What happens after I have registered as a juror?

You will receive an email to confirm that we have received your application.

If you are selected as a juror, we will inform you and provide you with information about the schedule, the project evaluation process, and your duties as a juror.

Applicants who are not selected will also be notified. Depending on the number of applications, unsuccessful applicants may be invited to become a juror the following year.

PROJECT EVALUATION PROCESS

How are projects evaluated?

  • The jury completes all project evaluations online, using a secure online voting platform. The Awards office creates an account for the platform for each juror. Jurors receive access codes and instructions.
  • When logging in for the first time, each juror is informed of the basic rules and criteria, and must accept these terms before proceeding.
  • Each juror is assigned (at random) at least 15 projects to evaluate. Jurors are not assigned projects from their own country.
  • Jurors evaluate each project separately according to the evaluation criteria outlined above, awarding 0 to 9 points for each criterion.
  • When the evaluation of a project is completed, the juror is prompted to submit the results which cannot be changed after submission.
  • After all scores have been received, they are tallied up and the winners and finalists are determined using an automated electronic system.

How are the projects assigned to the jurors?

Each juror is assigned a minimum of 15 projects to evaluate. They are selected at random and do not include projects from a juror’s own country.

How are the winners selected and how many winners are there?

  • Jurors individually evaluate each project according to the evaluation criteria outlined above, awarding 0 to 9 points for each criterion.
  • After all scores have been received, they are tallied up and the winners and finalists are determined using an automated electronic system.
  • The ten entries with the highest scores in each of the categories are automatically selected as the finalists. The owners of these projects will be invited to the Awards conference and gala ceremony (dates and venues to be announced).
  • The highest-scoring project in each of the nine categories will be the category winner and will receive an Innovation in Politics Awards trophy.

PRIZES AND AWARDS EVENTS

What are the prizes?

  • The ten entries with the highest scores in each of the categories are automatically selected as the finalists. The owners of these projects will be invited to the Awards conference and gala ceremony (dates and venues to be announced).
  • The highest-scoring project in each of the nine categories will be the category winner and will be presented with an Innovation in Politics Awards 2021 trophy.

When and where are the prizes presented?

The Awards ceremony for The Innovation in Politics Awards will take place at a date and venue to be announced.

Can I attend the Award ceremony?

Attendance is by invitation only. The finalists in each of the nine categories will be invited to attend the ceremony.

Is there a fee for attending?

No, although the people attending will be expected to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses.

When will the winners be announced?

The finalists will be announced after the project evaluation process is completed, and in advance of the awards ceremony. The winners (the projects receiving the top scores in each category) will be announced for the first time at the ceremony.

LEGAL ISSUES

Am I responsible for securing the publication rights for submitted materials?

Yes, this is your responsibility. We are unable to check who owns the rights to the thousands of items submitted to us from all over Europe.

If you send us materials where there are potential copyright issues (this concerns mainly videos, audio and photos), please be sure to ascertain whether they are free for publication (see also the Terms and Conditions).

This does not apply to links to websites.

Do I have to transfer all rights to submitted materials?

We require all publication rights for non-commercial use in connection with the organisation and marketing of the Awards. For details, please see the Terms and Conditions.

Am I responsible for the accuracy of the information provided in submissions?

  • Yes, it is your responsibility as the submitter to provide accurate information. Neither we, the Awards organisers, nor the jurors can independently verify the information contained in the project submissions.
  • We reserve the right to delete any offending materials and to disqualify any entries found to be fraudulent or grossly inaccurate from the competition.
  • Furthermore, if at a later date a submission is found to contain grossly inaccurate or misleading information, or to infringe upon the legal rights of third parties, we reserve the right to revoke any distinction conferred on the project.

What happens if there is a technical fault when I am using the Awards website?

  • We will make every reasonable effort to provide all users with a properly functioning Awards website, and to ensure the secure and reliable processing of submissions, jury registrations, and the project evaluation procedure. However, we can offer no warranty and accept no liability for the functioning and technical integrity of the Awards website or any of the processes described above.
  • Please inform us immediately in case of technical problems. We will do our best to rectify them as quickly as possible.
  • For further details, please check the Terms and Conditions.

How will my submitted data be protected?

  • We will keep all personal data submitted with project entries, jury applications, and other communications confidential, and will not share such information with any third parties.
  • Personal data will be stored in secure databases, in accordance with Austrian/EU data protection regulations, and will only be used in connection with The Innovation in Politics Awards and related activities.
  • In case of communications not connected with the Innovation in Politics Awards, we will first contact each individual concerned to obtain their permission.