The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) launched the 2017 edition of the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) award at the European SME Assembly in Luxembourg on 18 November. The EER award is open to all EU regions and cities that are ready to implement an ambitious strategy to support their SMEs and entrepreneurs. The deadline to apply for the EER 2017 label is 18 March 2016.
Each year, the EER label is awarded to three EU territories that commit themselves to implementing a cutting-edge strategy aimed at mainstreaming the principles of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA). Through the EER award, the CoR presents cities and regions with the challenge to develop a forward-looking political vision to boost SMEs and entrepreneurship in their territory, as well as a credible action plan to bring this vision into reality. This makes the EER initiative not only open to regions and cities that are already among the top performers, but also to territories that have developed an ambitious strategy allowing them to reinvigorate the local economy.
The call for EER 2017 applications was officially launched in the presence of Elżbieta Bieńkowska , European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Werner Hoyer , President of the European Investment Bank, and Etienne Schneider , Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economy and Trade of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and representatives from the CoR.
Paulo Carvalho , Director-General for Economy and Innovation at the Municipal Council of Lisbon, confirmed the considerable added value of the EER label for the City of Lisbon, which won the award for 2015: "We have created a strategy to make Lisbon one of the most competitive, innovate and creative cities in Europe. The EER has helped us to make a difference at the local level by creating a real entrepreneurial community, and to position Lisbon as an international hotspot for entrepreneurship on a global scale. We look forward to continuing to learn from other EER awarded cities and regions and to develop concrete projects together."
The aim of the EER award is not to reward past events but to encourage future action to promote entrepreneurship and cooperation on all levels of government as well as different stakeholders. The implementation of the prize-winning regional strategies will be monitored throughout the award year by the EER jury, which is composed of CoR members, representatives of EU institutions and social partners. At the end of the year, the jury visits the awarded territories in order to verify the progress made and provide them with an objective outside view on their policies. The main results and achievements of the EER 2017 winners will also be shared and discussed among regional and local authorities through the EER network.
The deadline for the submission of applications is 18 March 2016. The application form and further information are available on the EER web page: www.cor.europa.eu/eer .
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EER awards 2017