Fifth Europe-wide competition for innovative politics launched


A jury of 1,000 European citizens will single out the year’s most innovative political projects. Submissions are open now.

The prestigious Innovation in Politics Awards are heading into their fifth instalment. Politicians from all over Europe are being invited to submit their most outstanding political initiatives. A jury of 1,000 citizens will then select the winning projects in nine categories. The winners will receive one of the coveted trophies at a special awards ceremony in December. Held since 2017, the competition enables The Innovation in Politics Institute to put courageous politicians centre stage, with the aim of motivating people to emulate them. 

Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, an exceptional range of projects were entered for The Innovation in Politics Awards in 2020. The innovative strength displayed by European politicians was unparalleled. The panel of judges was particularly impressed by the projects in the Ecology category, and in the special COVID-19 Strategies category. “We have rarely seen a year so full of political innovations as the one just ended. And the pressure for change is just as strong as ever,” commented Edward Strasser, CEO and co-founder of The Innovation in Politics Institute. “By presenting The Innovation in Politics Awards, we single out Europe’s most forward-thinking politicians and make their know-how accessible across party lines and national borders. This means we can address key issues in the wake of the coronavirus crisis – like creating new jobs, strengthening the economy and improving the health system – across Europe more quickly.”

European citizens can now nominate projects in nine different categories, or alternatively politicians can submit their own projects. Politics is still struggling to come to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic and 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.

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).

These examples of tried-and-tested best practice will now be made accessible to others for analysis and rescaling. The aim is to encourage the exchange of ideas across Europe, with a view to promoting the cross-border development of innovative policies. The steadily growing platform also includes a number of groundbreaking projects that were not submitted for the Awards. In total, it contains 370 successful political initiatives from 37 countries.

To find out more about the innovative projects, visit

An overview of some of the key information about the Awards:

  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.

Information about the Awards:

About The Innovation in Politics Institute

The Innovation in Politics Institute is an international, non-governmental organisation that identifies, develops and implements innovation in politics in order to strengthen democracy in Europe and beyond. With an international network of offices and partner organisations in 21 countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), and together with political leaders at all levels, the institute is building tomorrow’s politics today.

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Press contact:
Robert Schafleitner
The Innovation in Politics Institute
+43 (0) 660 628 30 77