During the launch event, Commissioner Dimas signed a Declaration establishing the award scheme. Award criterias and application form is available at the award new homepage  Mr Jüri Ratas, former Mayor of Tallinn and current Vice-President of the Estonian Parliament, who laid the ground for the award in May 2006, along with other mayors.

Any European city with a population of more than 200,000 can apply, and a jury will select the winning cities for 2010 and 2011 later on this year. The award is intended to help European cities become more attractive and healthy places – "fit for life".

The idea is to trigger the development of green strategies and improvement actions in major cities. The criterias focus on various issues like CO2 emissions, transport, energy eficiency, waste treatment, water consumption, management strategies including EMAS certification etc.