The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) opens applications for the 2023 edition of the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) award. Under the overarching theme "Entrepreneurship and resilient communities", cities, regions and municipalities can submit strategies on how they plan to support SMEs over the next two years. The application deadline is 29 March 2022.
Michael Murphy (IE/EPP), Mayor of Clonmel and Chair of the CoR's Commission for Economic Policy (ECON), announced the opening of the EER award 2023 call for applications during the SME Assembly 2021, the most significant event for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe, organized by the European Commission together with the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
"Facing the uneven pace of economic recovery across the European Union, regions and territories populated by entrepreneurial-minded societies are more able to overcome crises and return faster on the path of growth. That is why the European Committee of the Regions decided to focus the EER award 2023 on entrepreneurship and resilient communities. We need to build back better together, putting SMEs at the heart of the European recovery," said Mr Murphy.
In the framework of the SME Assembly 2021, the ECON Commission organised a workshop on the "Role of SMEs in place-based industrial policies". The event highlighted that effective industrial and innovation policies in the EU need to be not only SME-friendly but also place-sensitive, recognising the role of territorial actors and stakeholders in facilitating a recovery driven by SME innovation, collaboration and networking.
During the workshop, Eddy Van Hijum (NL/EPP), Minister for Economy, Finance and Europe of the Province of Overijssel and CoR rapporteur on the SME Strategy, stated: "For many SMEs, the pandemic is not over as we tackle a new wave of the coronavirus. This means that we as local and regional authorities also have a responsibility to help the SMEs which shape our home regions and can help shape our future. I am pleased to see that the upcoming EER award recognises this and challenges regions in their recovery policy."
Details and information on how to apply for the EER award 2023 can be found here and on the dedicated webpage.
The European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) award is a project that each year identifies and rewards up to 3 EU territories, which show an outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial policy strategy, irrespective of their size, wealth and competences. The territories with the most credible, forward-looking and promising plan are granted the label “European Entrepreneurial Region" (EER) for the following year.
The EER label has been set up in partnership with the European Commission and is supported by EU level stakeholders such as SME United, Eurochambres, Social Economy Europe and EURADA.
The EER jury – composed of CoR members, representatives of EU institutions, social partners and territorial associations – will monitor the implementation of the prize-winning regional strategies throughout 2022 and 2023 – with the aim of providing the winners with an objective outside view on their policies and on the progress made during that year.
The winners of the last EER awards, which merged the 2021 and 2022 editions due to the pandemic situation, are: Castelo Branco Municipality (Portugal), Gabrovo Municipality (Bulgaria), Helsinki-Uusimaa Region (Finland), Madrid Region (Spain), Region Sud (France), Silesia Voivodeship (Poland).
The winners of the 2023 edition will be announced during the CoR plenary session in June 2022.
More information on the European Entrepreneurial Region award, including a list of the previous winners since 2011, can be found here.
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