The 2024 edition recognised three regions and a municipality: Famalicão municipality, Friuli Venezia Giulia, and South Moravia/Brno for their entrepreneurial strategies for SMEs and industry to promote sustainable growth while Małopolskie received a special mention for setting up a regional hub supporting Ukrainian businesses.
More concretely, EURADA region member, Friuli Venezia Giulia, was recognised for its remarkable commitment to transforming its industrial and productive system towards the Industry 5.0 paradigm. This approach focuses on human progress, well-being, and achieving climate neutrality by 2045, as outlined in the Regional FVGreen strategy.
The award acknowledges the region's focus on advancing digital and energy transitions through broad cooperation within the Northern Adriatic region. Additionally, the region has implemented robust measures to promote youth and female entrepreneurship. One notable initiative contributing to these efforts is the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley project. This project plays a pivotal role in attracting new investments and particularly benefits start-ups and SMEs operating in this field.
On the other hand, EURADA region member, Małopolskie, was recognised for its strong commitment to becoming a regional hub and centre of expertise for Ukrainian businesses and citizens looking to maintain their economic activity. This recognition is well-deserved as the region has taken concrete initiatives and collaborated with partners across borders, playing a vital role in the future reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy following the end of the war.
The Małopolskie region's efforts extend to various priority areas, with a particular focus on the environment. Their LIFE EcoMałpolskie project exemplifies this commitment, as it adopts a pro-environmental approach to foster sustainable and inclusive development of new technologies and their transfer. Through initiatives like these, the region demonstrates its dedication to responsible growth and solidifies its position as a valuable partner in supporting Ukraine's recovery efforts.
The awards ceremony to recognise recipients was held on 6 July 2023, during the 156th plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions. The EER label has been set up in partnership with the European Commission and is supported by many EU stakeholders such as SME United, Eurochambres, Social Economy Europe and EURADA.