Central Macedonia, Ile-de-France and the Northern and Western Region of Ireland win award for best entrepreneurial strategies  
Central Macedonia, Ile-de-France and the Northern and Western Region of Ireland win award for best entrepreneurial strategies

Only the regions with the most credible and promising entrepreneurial vision are awarded as the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). This year Central Macedonia, Ile-de-France and Northern and Western Region of Ireland convinced the EER jury with their outstanding strategies and commitment to boost entrepreneurship within their territories.

" The European Entrepreneurial Award is a true celebration of our regions as the bedrock of Europe's economy. This year's winners are an inspiration showing that our regions are taking the lead in supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs to create the jobs of tomorrow ", said Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President elect of the European Committee of the Regions.

Central Macedonia, Greece

The region of Macedonia still struggles from the aftermath of the economic crisis which resulted in a GDP drop of almost 30%. Under the slogan "Think Smart – Act Fast", the strategy aims at confronting these challenges by lessening administrative burden for SMEs, addressing the lack of financing for SMEs by leveraging private funds through a strategic funding platform, nurturing innovation and support entrepreneurs to participate in EU actions and partnerships around the world. This seemed crucial to the EER jury as budgets in the region are limited and the crisis calls for quick relief measures.

Ile de France, France

Paris Region's strategy aims at fully capitalizing on the region's vitality, diversity and entrepreneurial potential to make its economy more competitive and innovative. Focusing on strategic sectors such as aeronautics, ICT and health innovation, it builds on the recently adopted #Leader 2017-2020 strategy with which Ile-de-France aims to become the world's top region for innovation and job creation by 2020 and a pioneering smart region taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital transition.

Northern and Western Region, Ireland

The Northern and Western Region of Ireland outlines an ambitious and comprehensive strategy responding to the threat posed by Brexit to the territory, which constitutes 90% of Ireland's 500 km border with Northern Ireland. The action plan is based on the 10 principles of the EU Small Business Act identifying few remaining gaps and listing steps, targets and deliverables to be achieved during the EER year 2018. It includes innovative actions, such as capitalising on the National Ploughing Championship – Europe's biggest agricultural exhibition – to promote entrepreneurship in rural areas, or targeting Irish emigrants through an awareness raising campaign implemented in the regional airport.

European Entrepreneurial Region award 2018

The European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) is a project that each year identifies and rewards three 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-thinking and promising plan are granted the label “European Entrepreneurial Region” (EER) for a specific year.

" Since its launch in 2011, the European Committee of the Regions has recognised the leading entrepreneurial strategies of 24 European regions. By showcasing these examples, we hope to inspire others to create the right ecosystems for SMEs and entrepreneurs to thrive and to ultimately shift the mind-set towards more innovative and sustainable policies ", said Markku Markkula, who will take over as the CoR's first Vice-President.

The implementation of the prize-winning regional strategies will be monitored throughout 2018 by the EER jury, composed of CoR members, representatives of EU institutions, social partners and territorial associations. After the completion of the award 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 2018 winners will also be shared and discussed among regional and local authorities through the EER network.

Pictures from the event are available on flickr

Contact:
Carmen Schmidle
Tel. +32 (0)2 282 2366
carmen.schmidle@cor.europa.eu