The second edition of the EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award was launched on 4 February 2020 at the Committee of the Regions, in Brussels. The second edition follows a first successful edition which saw the city of Ghent named Sustainable Trade Champion for 2019. The EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award, is an initiative of the European Commission’s DG Trade implemented by the International Trade Centre.
Although 2020 started relatively optimistically and there was a renewed interest for this second edition, by March the prospect of implementing the planned project was side-lined due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Europe came to a standstill. However, it was decided that the project would keep its course, with a revised deadline for cities to apply and with slightly lower expectations to the number of applications. It was also concluded that media coverage of the project would most likely be minimal due to the media’s priority towards the pandemic.
Phrenos worked on. the entire re-branding of the campaign, making it more visible, with additional use of colours and a real sense that the city is alive and citizens make it what it is. Phrenos managed the entire social media campaign and launched the #DidYouKnow campaign, which revealed something about each city in the running.
The Phrenos team managed the official EU Cities Secretariat and coordinated the entire EU-wide competition, which saw a total of 11 cities apply. Phrenos also coordinated the Jury application, meetings and selection process.
In October 2020, Phrenos organised the Award. This hybrid event was hosted in Ghent’s City Hall and had participants speakers connected from 5 other European cities as well as from India. The main speakers of the Award Ceremony were the EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis and the Executive Director of ITC, Pamela Cook-Hamilton.