9 October 2013
Expectations after Croatian Accession at the European Parliament
The Awarding Ceremony of the European Projects Awards IPA 2013 took place on 7 October at the European Parliament, in the framework of EPA Conference 2013 on Perspectives of territorial cooperation 2014-2020 - Expectations after Croatian Accession.
The initiative was organised by the European Projects Association in collaboration with the European Parliament and the European Academy for Education and Social Research, under the framework of the Campaign "What are you doing… for a better society?" launched in partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee in 2012.
The 2013 EPA Conference focused on the subject of territorial cooperation in the period 2014-2020, with a specific focus on the changes in cooperation that the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union is bringing to the table.
In accordance with this thematic, this year's edition of the Awards rewarded the projects financed through the Instrument for Pre-Accession that had an important impact at the local level.
The event was introduced by the EPA Secretary General, Ms. Katarina Sipic, who presented the 2013 edition of the campaign and by Mr. Marino Baldini, Croatian Member of the European Parliament for the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Group and Member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs who stressed the importance of regional and territorial cooperation in all the sectors of the EU economy and society.
Mrs. Mercedes Bresso the Vice President of the Committee of the Regions, Mrs. Hande Ozsan Bozatli the President of Assembly of European Regions, Mr. Valter Flego the President of the Region of Istria, Mr. Predrag Stromar the President of the Varazdin Region, Mr. Witold Stepien the President of Lodzkie Region, Mr. Franco Iacop the President of the Regional Council of the Autonomus Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Deputy Mayor of the City of RIjeka Miroslav Matesic and the Representative of the Kanton of Sarajevo Mr. Dino Elezovic participated to the round table.
From 350 showcased projects, 43 funded by IPA were evaluated by the largest on line community of European projects experts:www.my-europa.eu.
Honourable guests of the Conference that handed in the EPA Award were Mr. Robert Van Es, Magistrate at Gwent Judicial District in UK, Mrs. Roberta Mancia, Lawyer and Professor at the European Academy for Education and Social Research and Mrs. Dragica Martinovic Director of the Representative Office of Croatian Chamber of Economy and the Representative of the European Economic and Social Committee.
Among the ongoing projects, the first classified was the project "Support to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development in Kosovo in legislative and policy development and in implementing the Agricultural and Rural Development Program", The Award was handed in to Mr. Patschka and Ms. Pichler from the Austrian Agramarkt.
Second placed was the project "Developing the entrepreneurial society in Western Balkans and Turkey – made by the South East European Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning". The Award was handed in to Ms. Efka Heder the Director of SEECEL.
The third Award for this category went to the Agency for Rural Development of Istrian County Ltd. Pazin CROATIA for the project "KEY Q - A Key for the Quality in the development and responsible value build up of agro-food resources from both Adriatic coasts". The Award was handed in to Mrs. Jasenka Kapuralin - Development Programme Manager at AZRRI-Agency for Rural development of Istria ltd Pazin.
Within the Concluded Projects category Western Balkans Regional Competitiveness Initiative of OECD France, presented by Mr. Alan Paic, won the first place. The second Award of this category went to the project "Strengthening of the Data Protection Commissioner Office in Albania for Alignment with European Standards", presented by the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection of Albania Mrs Flora Çabej.
Finally, the third best concluded project Award went to Vojvodina Metal Cluster for the project Vojvodina Metal Cluster - VMC. The award was handed in to Mr. Zoran Pekez - Cluster manager Vojvodina Metal Cluster.
A distinctive feature of this year's Awards were the 6 Ad Personam nominations for the 2013 Award for Outstanding Achievements in Regional and Local Development. To receive the Award were Mrs. Mercedes Bresso, Vice President of the Committee of the Regions; Mr. Gian Mario Spacca, President of Marche Region; Mr. Oriano Otocan, Head of Department for the International Cooperation and European Integration, Region of Istria; Mrs. Marialuisa Coppola, Regional Minister to the Economy and Deveopment at Veneto Region; and Mrs. Bettina Gilbert, European Projects Manager at Waste & Resources Action Programme in Wales.
The Conference marked the closing of the programming period 2007-2013 by presenting and awarding some of the best practices in European Projects financed through Instrument for Pre-Accession and outlined the plans that the partners in the region will put in practise in terms of regional cooperation and regional development in the following programming period. Particular focus was put on Croatia that in July became the new Member State and the changes that this will bring in the region.
Complete overview and information on the winning projects can be found on http://www.europeanprojects.org/awardsIPA/winners
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