Guide for Applicants

The Emperor Maximilian Prize is an annual award that has been made to individuals since 1998 by the Tyrolean regional authority and the Innsbruck municipal authority for outstanding achievements in the field of European regional and local politics. In the course of the preparations for the 2019 Emperor Maximilian Commemorative Year, the decision was taken to modify the announcement and award process in order to make the prize in its overall concept even more relevant for citizens. Instead of outstanding individual achievements, the award is now targeted at projects and initiatives that employ a cooperative, creative and sustainable approach to service to the central goals of the process of European unification. In the light of today’s growing tendencies to revert to nation-based patterns of thought and argument, there is a clear need to make the general (European) public even more aware of the added value available from such cooperation between the regions and municipalities of Europe. Europe is the sum of all our common efforts in support of a life in peace, freedom and prosperity. Recognition of outstanding initiatives in this field is the objective of the Emperor Maximilian Prize, which has been given a completely new orientation on the occasion of the 5th centenary of the death of the eponymous emperor.

You are advised to read the following information carefully before filling in and submitting the application form, which is also available on this website. Please note that subsequent changes – whether before or after the deadline for submissions – cannot be made to applications received (see Section 4).

If you have any questions after reading this guide, please do not hesitate to email them to the EMP office.

2.1 Target groups

Submissions for the Emperor Maximilian Prize (EMP) are invited from the following:

  1. Individuals
  2. Groups (companies, societies/associations)
  3. Research institutions
  4. Stakeholder bodies
  5. Public authorities

In cases where the project involves several natural or juridical persons, a coordinator (hereinafter "the applicant") must be named in the application form.

2.2 Formal requirements for applicants

2.2.1 Basics

Submissions for the EMP will only be accepted by the EMP office if the applicant and all the details provided in the application form satisfy the requirements listed below in full. In particular, applications must be complete and formally correct and must be submitted electronically by the stated deadline. No objections of any kind shall be entertained and legal process is excluded.

2.2.2 Project requirements

In addition to completeness, formal correctness and punctual electronic submission, the application must also clearly show that the project satisfies the following criteria:

  1. Status of the project: The application must relate to a current project or one that is about to be implemented.
  2. Goals/values: The project must be in compliance with the objectives of the European Union (EU)1 and/or the Council of Europe2.
  3. Geographical scope: The project must be implemented in one or several of the 28 member countries of the EU and/or 47 member countries of the Council of Europe3 and have a focus on inter-regional (regions, länder, cantons, provinces, etc.) or inter-municipal cooperation.
  4. Marketing: The project must be implemented in the public space or must be designed to communicate the goals and values of a united Europe with maximum media and/or public impact.
  5. Innovation: The project, or at least prominent aspects of the project, must be seen as being unique in the European context.
  6. Inclusion: The project must be designed to communicate as multifaceted an image of society as possible.
  7. Model function: The project must be suitable for transfer to other regions or municipalities in the same or a similar way.
  8. Non-profit: The project must have a focus on the common good and not be (primarily) profit-oriented.
  9. Legality: The project must not infringe any legal provisions of the country involved nor any general principles of European law.
  10. Time frame: The project must either have begun already4 or be about to be implemented. Finished projects cannot be considered.5.

2.2.3 Applicant requirements

  1. The applicant must be at least 18 years old6 and a citizen of one of the 28 member countries of the EU and/or 47 member countries of the Council of Europe7.
  2. The applicant must submit the project individually or on behalf of a group of natural or juridical persons.
  3. The application must be written in English, French or German.
  4. The applicant is responsible for the completeness and correctness of the application, with the following information to be provided in the application form8:
    • Title
    • Given name and surname
    • Date of birth
    • Place of birth
    • Nationality
    • Place of residence
    • Address
    • (Mobile) phone number, including country code
    • Email address
    • Full title of project
    • Short title, i.e. a one-word project description9;
    • Project status, i.e. in the implementation or concrete planning stage
    • Project location, i.e. the regions or municipalities involved in the project (separated by commas)
    • (Expected) start of the project
    • (Expected) end of the project
    • Non-profit status
    • Legality
    • Project description;
    • Publications on the subject of the project, where available
    • Project funding statement (sponsors, partnerships, etc. and intended use of the prize money if awarded)
    • Declaration of acceptance of the competition rules
    • Ort, Datum, Unterschrift.
  5. No subsequent changes may be made to applications submitted.

1A project will be considered to be in compliance with the objectives of the EU if it clearly relates at the intersubjective level to the values enshrined in Article 2 TEU (Lisbon Treaty) or as formulated in Article 2 TEU: "The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail." In the case of a project that is in compliance with additional or other (basic) values of the EU that are not conclusively defined in Article 2 TEU, the relevant legal sources should be specifically identified at the appropriate point in the application form.

2A project will be considered to be in compliance with the objectives of the Council of Europe if it clearly relates at the intersubjective level to the values enshrined in Article 1 of the statute of the Council of Europe: "The aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress." In the case of a project that is in compliance with additional or other (basic) values of the Council of Europe that are not conclusively defined in Article 1, the relevant legal sources should be specifically identified at the appropriate point in the application form.

3plus Belarus

4The cut-off date is 01 September 2018.

5This requirement is dictated by the stipulation that the prize money be employed as a contribution to the project budget.

6Here, too, the cut-off date is 01 September 2018.

7plus Belarus

8This applies is particular to all the information contained in the description of the project, which may be checked by the EMP office. Any deliberate misrepresentation relating to the project submitted can lead to disqualification or even retroactive cancellation of the award.

9A made-up word may also be used.

After the deadline for submissions, those projects that satisfy the minimum requirements listed in Section 2 will be assessed by a jury comprising representatives of the Tyrolean regional authority and the Innsbruck municipal authority and associated representatives of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CLRA), the Assembly of European Regions (AER), the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and the University of Innsbruck. The jury will perform its assessment on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Relevance for European policy with regard to the goals and values of the European Union and/or Council of Europe as listed under item 2.2.2
  2. Relevance for matters of current concern to the European Union and/or Council of Europe
  3. Implementation of the principle of subsidiarity10 and strengthening of regional and municipal cooperation in compliance with the goals and values of the European Union and/or Council of Europe
  4. Creativity or unique character in terms of a) content and b) method
  5. Visibility, i.e. the project’s public and/or media impact
  6. Range of issues, i.e. interaction with as diverse aspects of European integration as possible
  7. Inclusion/integration with as diverse social groups as possible taking special account of gender balance and the inclusion of minorities within a society
  8. Sustainability, i.e. the environmentally compatible use of resources in the framework of the project
  9. Model function, i.e. transferability to cooperation projects involving other regions and/or municipalities
  10. General impact, measurable or otherwise verifiable added value for the lives of the people in the area affected by the project.

Summary: In the ideal case, therefore, a project should relate to the goals of European integration (1) with reference to a problem that is currently attracting the attention of the general public and/or the media (2) and exists at the inter-regional or inter-municipal level (3) and give it creative (4), visible (5) and thematically diverse (6) treatment. The project should involve wide sectors of society (7), be implemented on an environment-friendly basis (8), be suitable for transfer to other regions or municipalities (9) and generally offer a sustainable improvement to the lives of the people in the project area (10.).

In the assessment process, the members of the jury will each award between one and ten points to the various projects on the basis of the above criteria. The winning project will be the one with the highest total number of points awarded by all the jury members. The jury’s decision is final and there is no right of appeal.

10Article 5(3) TEU (current version in accordance with the Lisbon Treaty): "Under the principle of subsidiarity, in areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Union shall act only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, either at central level or at regional and local level, but can rather, by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved at Union level. The institutions of the Union shall apply the principle of subsidiarity as laid down in the Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. National Parliaments ensure compliance with the principle of subsidiarity in accordance with the procedure set out in that Protocol."

  1. The period for submissions begins on 01 September 2018 (0:00) and finishes on 15 November 2018 (24:00). The application form on the competition website must be used for all submissions, which will only be accepted during the above period.
  2. If the submission is accepted, confirmation of receipt will be sent promptly to the email address entered by the applicant. The confirmation of receipt is merely for the applicant’s information and no further action is required.
  3. All applications accepted will be judged and the winner identified at a meeting of the jury to be held at the end of November 2018.
  4. Following the jury meeting, the result will be communicated to all applicants whose submissions were accepted.

In the case of the winning project, the applicant will then receive the relevant information on the award ceremony and supporting programme.

The award comprises a certificate, a medal (1509 Emperor Maximilian I medallion) and a cash prize worth €10,000 as a financial contribution to the winning project. The intended use of the prize money has to be communicated to the EMP office as part of the application process. Should the use of the prize money subsequently be changed due to unforeseen circumstances, the EMP office must again be informed of the fact without delay.

All the events relating to the award will be held in Innsbruck (Austria) on 8 May 2019 unless a change is made for unforeseen reasons.

The EMP office reserves the right to makes use of submitted documents for presentation, media and promotional purposes for a period of five years insofar as the office considers it expedient and reasonable to do so and the applicant has not made a written request by email for the documents to be deleted (which can be done at any time).

The organisers can accept no liability for the cancellation, postponement or modification of the competition due to unforeseen circumstances. You are strongly advised not to wait until the last minute to make your submission.11

11For example, difficulties with data transmission (e.g. slow Internet connections, server problems) or other problems beyond the organisers' control could delay transmission of the application until after the deadline.

Participation in the competition requires full acceptance of the above rules, with a formal declaration of acceptance to be made by the applicant on the application form. No legally enforceable rights of any kind derive from participation in the competition.


Click here to download the guide for applicants in PDF format.