The Committee of the Regions has launched the 2016 edition of the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) Award. Any EU region or city, regardless of their size or wealth, with outstanding, future-oriented entrepreneurial strategies can apply until 16 March 2015. The most successful, forward-looking and promising strategies will be rewarded and monitored over the coming two years. An Info Day about the Award will be held (and web-streamed) on 23 October.
The EER initiative was launched by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in 2009 in order to contribute to mainstreaming the EU Small Business Act principles at regional and local level, as well as to boost the achievement of the goals of the EU's growth strategy - Europe 2020 - in the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship. Local and regional authorities are given the chance to demonstrate their commitment to promoting SMEs and entrepreneurs as key players in strengthening the economy and harnessing their potential to create growth and jobs.
"Since we want to encourage regions to further step out of the crisis, we decided not to focus the EER initiative on past achievements but instead to make the EER award future-oriented: we reward those regions that have a forward-looking vision to implement the principles of the SBA" CoR President Michel Lebrun said presenting the 2016 edition. He added, "This forward-looking orientation means that the EER initiative is aimed not only at regions that are already performing well economically. It also targets regions that may still be less prosperous, but have an ambitious entrepreneurial vision and credible action plan to bring this vision into reality".
The competition is open to all EU territories below the level of the Member State that are endowed with competences at a political level and able to implement an overall entrepreneurial vision. They could be successful or lagging behind but commitment to implementing changes to develop their entrepreneurial potential. Communities, autonomous communities, departments, Länder, provinces, counties, metropolitan areas, large cities, as well as cross-border territories such as EGTCs and Euro-regions may apply. Cross-border regions are particularly encouraged to submit applications.
An EER Info Day, to be held at the CoR on 23 October in Brussels, will present the details of the 2016 Award. The session will be web-streamed on the CoR website.
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