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Reflections on a year of Success and Partnership

Article written by Roberta Dall'Olio, Director

The end of the year is approaching, my colleagues of the Secretariat and I would like to express our gratitude to each of you. Your support and dedication to EURADA and our mission have made 2023 an extraordinary year for our organisation.

This year has been characterised by new challenges, achievements and relevant outcomes which would not have been possible without your valuable contributions and active involvement.

Together, we have succeeded in consolidating EURADA’s network positioning in the European scenario, thanks to your help and participation.

Allow me to take this opportunity to share and remind all of us of the main outcomes of our shared journey.

We are pleased to recall that last year, we stressed the importance of keeping the focus on member services. This led to the application of some conditionalities to EURADA participation in European and International projects, among which their potential or actual involvement in the project, and the relevance of the topics in respect of our members' priorities. With the objective of deepening the Secretariat knowledge of our members, we started the first edition of a study tour visiting Wallonie Entreprendre in Liege.

In the same streamline of better responding to members' needs and expectations, we are thrilled to announce the launch of the EURADA Survey on Development Agencies in OECD Member countries and EU Member States which ispart of the collaboration with OECD started in 2023. The outcome of the survey will be the basis for a publication on the renewed role of the Agencies in territorial socio-economic development to which you will be requested to contribute with your practices and insights.

Moreover in 2023 with OECD Trento, we initiated a renewed engagement in capacity building thanks to the Winter School, this experience will follow next year in the Netherlands in cooperation with our members OOST NL and ROM Utrecht.

Thanks to the outcome of the Strategic Foresight Working Group which has consolidated our collaboration with the Joint Research Center and with the European Committee of the Regions, the capacity-building exercise will continue with a workshop, held by OECD Trento, in January – February 2024.

We are also proud to announce EURADA’s participation, started in 2023, in the Talent Harnessing Platform Technical Assistance and the ProjectCohesion and Regional Development of Ukraine (UCORD), aiming at strengthening the cooperation of citizens, businesses and state authorities on recovery and regional development to which EURADA will actively contribute thanks to the collaboration with its members in the year to come.

These initiatives as well as EURADA AWARD 2023 will allow us to highlight and facilitate the exchange of experience in our network. This year theJury will be composed of JRC, OECD and COR representatives rewarding the best 3 practices out of the 9 candidatures received, with a dedicated podcast and a dedicated ceremony in the framework of AGORADA 24.

Our networking activities have been intensified thanks to the usual annual appointments AGORADA, The Summer School and to the acquisition of new members INFORMEST, SVILUPPUMBRIA, Sviluppo Molise, (I) Zagreb Development Agency (HR), Grand E-Nov+ (FR), and EQA (ES).

The implementation plan to improve EURADA's performance in the next year will be followed by the launch of our Strategic Planning Process. This new journey will take place alongside each of you, following the Survey on Development Agencies.  Additionally, it will be facilitated by the new Management and members of the Board of Directors who will be elected in June 2024, with dedicated meetings to design a road map for the future of our association.

In 2023, we have worked intensively together to strengthen EURADA and to spread our perspective on territorial place-based development.

We are counting on your support for next year's challenges!

I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this organisation and collaborate with EURADA's dedicated Secretariat staff, our members and our extended network.

Allow me to express my personal wish for a peaceful New Year.