For the 9th year in a row, the RegioStars Awards will reward those projects which excelled in the management of EU regional funds and achieved successful results in smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as well as urban development and effective management of EU regional funds.
During the past edition, I had the pleasure of meeting the RegioStars project winners which were all true EU Regional Policy ambassadors who prove the added value of EU regional funding to citizens, business and for the environment.
For example, the Swedish project "Scandinavian Game Developers" has established more than 20 new small companies which now employ almost 70 people and attracted an external investment of around €270,000. The "PICSA - Sustainable Construction Programme" in Spain has achieved 26,000 toe/year of energy saved and 62,000 tons of CO2 avoided through energy efficient construction and renovation measures. In Puglia, Italy, the "Diritti a Scuola" project, helped more than 50,000 students and 10,000 families by improving access to employment and training. And the cross-border project "Eurocity of Chaves-Verín" demonstrated through nearly 50 cross-border initiatives how two cities in two different countries can work together to make life better for their citizens.
RegioStars are inspiring projects for other regions and project managers and I encourage all regions to put forward their best projects. Winning a RegioStars Award gives recognition and international visibility to these excellent projects, and acknowledges them as a model for others to follow.
I look forward to meeting the winners of each category and personally handing them the RegioStars trophy, during the Award Ceremony which will take place on October 11 in Brussels, as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities.