European Entrepreneurial Region Awards
Commission Vice-President in charge of inter-institutional relations and administration M. Šefčovič attended the European Entrepreneurial Region Awards (EER) as one of main speakers of the ceremony held on Thursday, 11 February 2010 in the Committee of the Regions of the EU.
The EER label, launched in October 2009 by the then CoR President, Luc Van den Brande, and former European Commission vice-president Günther Verheugen, will help underline the belief that Europe's economic programmes to create jobs and growth will only work if they take existing regional and local visions and strategies on board. The annual award also aims to further stimulate the establishment of innovative and creative regional economic development plans all over Europe.
In her introductory speech, newly elected CoR President Mercedes Bresso said:"As the tribulations of the EU economy, and the eurozone in particular, are being discussed today by Europe's heads of state and government, it is vital to acknowledge that encouraging entrepreneurship at local and regional level is a key ingredient for the success of any plan to exit the current crisis. Deploying the right policies to foster not just high-growth but also sustainable growth entrepreneurship is a major challenge that the winners of the European Entrepreneurial Region awards have obviously taken up successfully."
In his remarks M. Šefčovič added: "The EER label encourages people to put the Small Business Act for Europe into practice at regional level. The winning regions are excellent examples of how this EU initiative is being rolled out on the ground to create a more dynamic and competitive Europe. They clearly show that all of Europe's regions can take the initiative to improve their entrepreneurial and innovative potential. They've achieved this through improved cooperation with the business sector, especially SMEs, and targeted spending of EU and other public funding."
The first EER labels covered the years 2011 and 2012 with three winning regions per year - they are: Brandenburg (DE), County Kerry (IE) and Murcia (ES) for 2011 and Catalonia (ES), Trnava (SK) and Uusimaa/Helsinki (FI) for 2012.