THE TITLE Village of the Year was bestowed on Malé Dvorníky, in the Dunajská Streda district, in mid November. The south-western Slovak village will proceed to the European round of the competition by the European Association for Rural Development and Village Renewal (ARGE).

Second place went to Špania Dolina, which lies north of Banská Bystrica, while Pruské in Trenčín Region placed third. Awards like “Exceptional, Innovative, Visionary and Sustainable Development of Municipality”, “The Well-Managed Village”, “Village as a Jewel-box” and “Village as a Garden”, went to the villages of Kechnec (near Košice), Jablonka (near Trenčín), Baďan (near Banská Štiavnica), Sebechleby (in the Krupina district), Pavlovce nad Uhom (in the eastern area of Košice Region), Šarovce (just south of Levice), Blatnica (near Martin) and Bošáca (north of Nové Mesto nad Váhom).

In total, 27 villages from seven Slovak regions competed in the contest, organised by the Environment Ministry, the Slovak Environmental Agency, the Association for Village Renewal and the Association of Towns and Villages of Slovakia (ZMOS), to present the Slovak villages.

In summer 2013, members of a national assessment committee visited all of the participating municipalities to select the winners, the SITA newswire wrote. After ARGE’s jury meets in March, it will visit the contestants in May and June 2014. The results will be announced in September in Vals, Switzerland. The website will offer updated information as the competition develops.