Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova led the team that presented Sofia's candidacy in the final of the European Green Capital 2023 competition on September 10, 2021 in Lahti, Finland, to a nine-member jury. Sofia and Tallinn competed until the end for the title.

Although the capital of Estonia won, to which we wish success, reaching the finals and measuring the plans and progress towards sustainable development of Sofia is a recognition and encouragement! The other finalist cities were Krakow (Poland) and Helsingborg (Sweden).

The jury congratulated the mayor of Sofia for the achievement and the good and comprehensive presentation. During the feedback of the representatives of the European Commission, the European Environment Agency, the European Environment Bureau, the European Network of Cities, the Committee of the Regions, the Association of Municipalities for Sustainable Development, etc., Sofia's ambition to protect and increase green space areas in the city, to achieve 100% non-polluting urban transport, to integrate rivers and to work towards improving the cycling infrastructure was emphasized. The Green Line Sofia, Rivers of Sofia, “Manastirski Livadi” river park, Lozenets park and INNOAIR projects formed the main part of the city's presentation, supported also by a vote in Sofia Municipal Council.

"Sofia's first participation in the finals of the European Commission's European Green Capital competition was accepted with excellent scores by the jury. With more efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, carry out the energy transition and cooperate with the cities of the Balkans, we hope to earn the award. As early as this autumn, Sofia Municipality will apply for the competition again” said Yordanka Fandakova after the final.

INNOAIR will continue to be one of the key projects with the capacity not only to improve air quality and transport service and to engage citizens, but also to be a role model for other cities, to motivate and inspire.