REGIOSTARS awards are the yearly competition organised by DG REGIO since 2008: it has become the Europe’s label of excellence for EU-funded projects, which demonstrate innovative and inclusive approaches to regional development. Each year hundreds of projects compete in five categories. The public can participate by voting for their favourite project among all finalists for the public choice award. By bringing about solutions to common challenges and tapping into the biggest opportunities, the REGIOSTARS have inspired regions to deliver evermore-impactful EU regional policy.

In 2021, the REGIOSTARS are focussed on five areas that are a crucial part of the EU’s regional policy:

  • SMART Europe: Increasing the competitiveness of local businesses in a digital world
  • GREEN Europe: Green and resilient communities in urban and rural setting
  • FAIR Europe: Fostering inclusion and anti-discrimination
  • URBAN Europe: Promoting green, sustainable and circular food systems in functional urban areas
  • Topic of the Year: Enhancing green mobility in the regions: European Year of Rail 2021

More information can be found in the REGIOSTARS guide for applicants

DGREGIO is organising a training session for programme authorities titled ‘REGIOSTARS Awards 2021: all you need to know about the application process’. The session will be web streamed so potential projects will have the opportunity to follow it. The presentation will take place on Tuesday, 9 March. The session will go live at 10 am and can be watched here The session will be recorded so it can be watched back if you cannot make it on the day.

A maximum of five applications per Operational Programme can be submitted. Each application requires an endorsement from the relevant Managing Authority. Applications must be submitted by the organisation that is/was responsible for the implementation of the project. An application will not be accepted by the Commission unless it is accompanied by a signed MA endorsement form.

The application shall refer to a project, which has received EU co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund, or a project which has received EU funding under Interreg IPA-CBC or Interreg ENI-CBC programmes. The project must clearly refer to one of the five award categories of 2021. The same project cannot be submitted for several categories.

The REGIOSTARS application platform is open until 9 May. In order to ensure that this deadline is met, any requests for endorsement should be sent to your relevant Managing Authority by COB on Friday 15 April. Each request should include a copy of the completed application form. In the event that there are more than five projects requesting endorsement, the MA will review each application and select five projects to endorse.

All projects submitted for endorsement must include relevant results, if a project is only in the early stages of implementation it is recommended that they wait until next year’s awards. Projects must also be able to show they are in compliance with the relevant Information and Communication regulations e.g. Logos and Taglines on all supporting documentation, website is compliant.

This year the finalists will be invited to training sessions on communication as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities in October. The winners in the five categories, and the winner of the public choice, will receive their well-deserved prize at the festive REGIOSTARS ceremony, to take place in Dubrovnik, Croatia in December 2021. The winners of the five categories will get a paid media partnership worth €5,000.

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