Regions of Excellence
This video can also be viewed and downloaded from the European Comission website.
Transcript of Regions of Excellence video
Three regions, located in three different corners of Europe…
Their efforts to reach Europe 2020’s objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth have made them the most nominated regions for the RegioStars Awards.
To celebrate their outstanding achievements, Wales, Brandenburg and Lithuania have been designated Regions of Excellence.
From West to East, let’s start with Wales, on the western coast of Britain.
With its coastline, its upland areas and acres of grassland, this region is traditionally a land of farming, but it also has a long history of mining.
However, the gradual decline in these activities has required Welsh authorities to develop a new and competitive economy.
Tim Claypole, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating:
“It’s a pretty remote area. Being remote from technical assistance is a common problem in the Welsh printing industry, and this project has helped us to address some of those issues”
Tim Claypole is the leader of the project Diple. This initiative has boosted the Welsh printing sector by improving the quality of its production and decreasing its impact on the environment.
Thanks to projects like Diple and to the support from the European Structural Funds, Wales has created over 125,000 jobs and can pride itself on being the first double-winner of RegioStars Awards
At the geographical centre of Europe, Brandenburg is an important economic hub.
To boost the competitiveness of business, the region strongly promotes innovative projects.
Like here, in the surroundings of Berlin. The company Getemed, in cooperation with a Brandenburg clinic, has developed a new telemedicine system to monitor and treat patients.
Robert Downes, Technical Director Getemed:
(In German) “In this context, we have put new equipment on to the market, and this led us to take on more staff”
To attract companies like Getemed and to secure employment, the region is also investing in information technologies, like this website (external link) which provides information on the procedures to follow to apply for EU funding.
This way, Brandenburg hopes to remain an attractive region for investors.
Further to the North-East, along the shores of the Baltic Sea, lies Lithuania, rich in natural beauty and wide open spaces.
While the majority of its population lives in large cities, one third remains in rural and remote areas and is more susceptible to poverty and social exclusion.
To strengthen competitiveness and reduce disparities between regions, the country has been supporting numerous initiatives such as the Computer Literacy Basics Project.
Loreta Krizinauskienè, Managing Director “Window to the future”:
In 2002, when "Window to the Future" began, the internet network covered just 11% of Lithuania.
By training beginners, the elderly and disabled people, the project helped turn 50% of the population into real computer-users.
Together with other similar initiatives, this project is progressively pulling remote areas out of their isolation, closing the socio-economic gap in Lithuania.
The regions celebrated today are just the tip of the iceberg. Many regions right across Europe are contributing to achieving the Europe 2020 objectives, illustrating that Cohesion Policy is a veritable driving force helping build a Europe of Excellence.