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Overview of EURADA General Assembly 2024: A New Chapter of Strategic Initiatives and Leadership

Article written by Cristina Sanz Rutherford - Communication, Policy and Membership Intern, and Inazio Aja Urdangarin - Finance Intern

On June 3, 2024, EURADA held its General Assembly at Atelier 29 in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting, chaired by EURADA Director Roberta Dall’Olio, brought together members of the Association to deliberate on crucial matters and elect a new Board of Directors.

Indeed, a crucial point in the agenda was the welcoming of two new members: the Regional Development Agency for Podravje - Maribor and Trentino Sviluppo. Representatives from both agencies presented their organisations, emphasising their core values and ongoing projects. The assembly unanimously approved their admission, marking an expansion of EURADA's network. The Regional Development Agency for Podravje - Maribor focuses on strategic planning and projects related to sustainable mobility, nature protection, entrepreneurship, research, and tourism. Similarly, Trentino Sviluppo aims to foster economic development, support entrepreneurs, and promote innovation and sustainability in the Trentino region.

The updated Work Programme for 2024 and an overview of European projects were then presented by Mrs. Dall’Olio and Project Manager Ivana Rae Almora. Since EURADA plans to shift focus from project participation to technical assistance (TA), enhancing member involvement, the Ukraine UCORD TA was presented, and members expressed overwhelming support for this initiative. Cooperation with this Swiss-funded programme, aimed at supporting Ukrainian RDAs, may be done through possible internships and training sessions where members feel capable to do so. Other notable projects include I3 TA and the Harnessing Talent platform TA. Moreover, updates on new projects such as K-CCRI and CircSyst, and upcoming events like Clusters Meet Regions in Charleroi and potential AGORADA+ locations were discussed. The assembly also invited members to present their candidatures to co-organise the Summer and Winter Schools, providing an opportunity for regions to showcase their vision and work.

A crucial part of the assembly was the election of the new Board of Directors. Each candidate delivered a short speech advocating for their candidacy. The assembly, based on consensus, approved all 17 candidates, reflecting a unified commitment to EURADA's future. The newly elected Board of Directors includes Valeria Bandini (ART-ER), Jean-François Benon (CEEVO 95), Jean Jacques Bernardini (GRAND E-NOV+), Greta Camilleri (Malta Enterprise), Luca Capra (Trentino Sviluppo), Antonio Manuel Castro Jiménez (TRADE), Rafael Escamilla (IVACE+i), Cristina Gallardo (FUNDECYT-PCTEX), Theodorus Nicolaas Maria Föllings (Oost NL), Joaquín Gomez (INFO MURCIA), Daniel Janeiro (ADRAL), Andreea-Raluca Leru (North-East Romania Regional Development Agency), Kornelija Mlinarević (Razvojna agencija Zagreb), Hélène Morin (Bretagne Development Innovation), Cristina Oyón (SPRI), Darjan Vlahov (SIMORA), and Jan Sinkievic (ARRSA Bielsko Biala Poland).

Following the General Assembly, the newly elected Board of Directors convened to elect the new Presidency. Mrs. Dall’Olio emphasised the importance of adhering to geographical and gender balance rules and highlighted the strategic significance of these elections for EURADA's future. The board unanimously approved the following candidates: Theo Föllings (Oost NL) as President, Cristina Oyon (SPRI) as Vice-President, Andreea-Raluca Leru (ADR Nord-Est) as Vice-President-Treasurer, and Daniel Janeiro (ADRAL) as Vice-President-Secretary. The new Presidency, consisting of a three-year mandate with the possibility of two further renewals, is now set to guide EURADA with strong leadership and commitment.

The meeting concluded with speeches from the new President and Vice-Presidents, marking the beginning of a promising new chapter for EURADA and setting the stage for a future filled with strategic initiatives and robust leadership. We look forward to continued collaboration and growth as we work together to achieve our shared goals.