European cities, regions and municipalities who wish to showcase, share and enrich their strategy and experience in promoting sustainable growth can now apply for the 2024 edition of the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) award, promoted by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). Under the overarching theme "Cities and regions on a path to sustainable, resilient and digital growth", the EER 2024 will spotlight local and regional actions supporting, over the coming two years, the green and digital transition of SMEs, strengthening the competitiveness and long-term resilience of their local economies. Local and regional authorities can submit their strategies until 29 March 2023.
The opening of the call for applications for the EER award 2024 was announced during the SME Assembly in Prague, the most significant event for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe, organised by the European Commission together with the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The President of the European Committee of the Regions,
Vasco Alves Cordeiro, said: "The European Committee of the Regions and its members strongly believe in the power of bottom-up action supporting entrepreneurship as our contribution to a more innovative, sustainable and digital economy in Europe focused on people's well-being and the environment. The European Entrepreneurial Region has become a recognised label of excellence, linking like-minded regions into a European network and supporting their collaboration and exchange of best practices across the borders."
Supporting SMEs and bottom-up entrepreneurial activity is one of the priorities of the European Committee of the Regions. Through the EER initiative, the CoR contributes to the implementation of the
EU SME Strategy and the key priorities of the EU's strategic agenda 2019-2024 at regional and local level. The EER label is an opportunity for local and regional actors to demonstrate the crucial role that SMEs and entrepreneurs play in steering the EU economy towards a green and digital transition and strengthening the resilience of the economy in a rapidly changing geopolitical landscape. This work is even more important in the current scenario, as stressed by regional and local leaders during a
meeting of the CoR's commission for Economic Policy in Zwolle on 22-23 September, where CoR members urgently called for EU relief measures to help businesses cope with the consequences of soaring energy prices, inflation, and supply chain bottlenecks while recalling that EU's long-term goals on the green and digital transitions will only be achieved if the EU policy framework is fully SME-fit and backed by robust funding.
Details and information on how to apply for the EER award 2024 can be found on
the dedicated webpage.
The European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) award is a project that identifies and rewards up to three EU territories each year, which are pursuing 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" 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
Social Economy Europe and
The winners of the
EER awards 2023 were: Barcelona (Spain), Penela (Portugal) and Western Pomerania (Poland).
The winners of the 2024 edition will be announced during the CoR plenary session in July 2023.
More information on the European Entrepreneurial Region award, including a list of the previous winners since 2011, can be found
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