EU Cohesion policy: Commission announces the winners of the REGIOSTARS 2020 awards

European Commission has announced the winners of the 2020 edition of the REGIOSTARS Awards that reward the best Cohesion policy projects in the whole European Union. For the first time ever, this year’s edition of the REGIOSTARS ceremony, happening during the 18th European Week of Regions and Cities, was fully digital. Six European Commissioners hosted the event remotely: Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira; Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová; Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel; Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit; Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni; and Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Oceans Virginijus Sinkevičius. As previously announced, this year’s competition counted the highest ever number of applications (206) and a high number of votes for the public choice’s category (33,000).

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, commented: “I want to warmly congratulate the best EU Cohesion policy projects of 2020. Project beneficiaries are the stars of the EU Cohesion policy because they are the ones making our mission a reality, that is to say, an EU more fair and cohesive, ensuring convergence across living standards and increasing everyone’s wellbeing. The REGIOSTARS Awards show that we can achieve excellent results when the EU, Member States, regions and cities work together for the best use and implementation of EU funds and projects.”

For “Industrial transition for a smart Europe” (1st category) the award went to ‘ESA BIC Portugal – Promoting the space economy and the European Space Agency incubation program’, which promotes space technologies on innovative solutions to non-space markets, a pioneer in Europe generating more than €11,5 million in investments and 100 highly skilled jobs in 30 innovative start-ups.
For “Circular economy for a green Europe” (2nd category) the winner was ‘TAKE THE COOL FOOD CHALLENGE – Take a bite out of climate change by making small changes to your diet’ for its contribution to reducing carbon emissions by encouraging people to follow a healthy diet.
The award for “Skills & education for a digital Europe” (3rd category) went to ‘E-SCHOOLS, PILOT PROJECT – Establishing a System for Developing Digitally Mature Schools’ which has helped 10% of Croatian schools and around 50,000 teachers and 500,000 students to switch to a new level of education.
The award “Citizen engagement for cohesive European cities” (4th category) has been granted to ‘SHICC – Sustainable Housing for Inclusive and Cohesive Cities’ to support democratic organizations that develop and manage homes affordable to people with low and median incomes.
The specific 2020 category “Youth empowerment for cooperation across border – 30 years of Interreg” award has been given to ‘ENERGY@SCHOOL: Energy optimization and behavior change into schools of Central Europe’ for developing a scheme to train school students to become responsible for monitoring their school energy consumption.
Finally, the public has chosen ‘Time is now for change’ for its impact on youth empowerment cooperation across borders.