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Monday, June 27, 2011

Commission reveals winners of "RegioStars Awards" celebrating Europe's most innovative regional projects

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News Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, and the President of the RegioStars Jury Ann Mettler, executive director of the Brussels think thank Lisbon Council, will tonight announce the winners of the "RegioStars Awards" 2011.

The prize giving ceremony recognises the most innovative projects that have been supported by European Regional Policy, creating hundreds of new jobs from the EU budget, which otherwise would not have been created. Madeira and the Azores in Portugal, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Northern Mid Sweden, Wales in the UK will be at centre stage. Municipalities in the Northern peripheral regions of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands are also winners thanks to a territorial cooperation project. Commissioner Hahn said: "Against the backdrop of turbulent economic times and Europe's ambitious strategy up to 2020, these exemplary projects give a positive signal. They show that our regions and cities are breeding grounds for innovative ideas. Good solutions to achieve European priorities for greater competitiveness and a low carbon economy do already exist on the ground. We just need to learn more about them." President of the Jury Ann Mettler added: "We believe that the projects chosen as winners in their respective category are innovative, inspiring, and exemplary. They have the potential to serve as role models and good practices for other regions. And they demonstrate that EU funds have been put to good use – a fact that is of paramount importance in view of the intense negotiations to be expected over the next financial perspective 2013-20". All EU regions were invited to submit projects which had received funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) or the Cohesion Fund after 1 January 2000. 66 eligible applications were submitted from 18 Member States, out of which 31 projects were shortlisted by the jury. This year, six awards were on offer: two on the "economic competitiveness" theme, two for "low carbon economy" and two awards for information and communication. Tonight's ceremony will take place at the Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar) in Brussels. It takes part of the annual 'Regions for Economic Change' conference providing an opportunity for politicians and practitioners from Europe's regions to discuss key themes around European cohesion policy and showcase projects funded by EU regional funds.

Source :  Press room - European Commission


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