top of page

European Business District 2018

The Committee of the Regions has recently launched the European Business Region (SPD) competition  2018 "which rewards the regions with the longest business vision in Europe.

1. In general

THE  "European Business District" (EIP) is an initiative of the Committee of the Regions that highlights and rewards EU regions with excellent, far-reaching business strategies, regardless of their size, financial strength and capabilities. The regions with the most credible, prominent, long-term and promising political strategy receive the title of European Business District (SPD) for a specific year.

The aim of this initiative is twofold.

  • To contribute to the implementation of Small  Business  Act  (SBA) in a partnership and

  • To highlight the optimal use of EU and other public resources towards the development of business policy in the region.


Through the SPD initiative, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) contributes to the integration of SBA strategies at regional and local level and to the achievement of the Europe 2020 goals. The SPD mark is an opportunity for local and regional actors to demonstrate the crucial role of SMEs and entrepreneurs in strengthening the capacity of the economy. Utilizing the growth and employment potential of the EU regions, the SPD signal allows them to emerge faster from the economic and financial crisis and enter a path of recovery and new prosperity.

The SPD program follows a multi-level governance approach, promoting SPD regional communities where both regional and local actors are represented. For policymakers and stakeholders, the SPD provides the opportunity to jointly develop strategies for implementing the SBA principles such as "Creating an environment in which entrepreneurs can thrive", "Priority for small businesses", Greater response of public administrations to the needs of SMEs "and" Encouragement and support of SMEs to benefit from the development of markets ". Thus, the SPD contributes to the creation of business, dynamic, green regions throughout Europe. The SPD label has so far been awarded to eighteen European regions:

  • 2011: Brandenburg (Germany), County Kerry (Ireland) and Region of Murcia (Spain)

  • 2012: Catalonia (Spain), Helsinki-Uusimaa  (Finland) and Trnava (Slovakia)

  • 2013: Nord-Pas de Calais (France), Southern Denmark and Styria (Austria)

  • 2014: Flanders (Belgium),  March  (Italy) and North Brabant (Netherlands)

  • 2015: Lisbon (Portugal), Northern Ireland (United Kingdom) and Region of Valencia (Spain)

  • 2016: Glasgow (United Kingdom), Lombardy (Italy) and Malopolska (Poland)

  • 2017: Extremadura (Spain), Lower Austria (Austria), Region of Western Greece (Greece).


The SPD mark was adopted by the Committee of the Regions in cooperation with the European Commission and supported by the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and stakeholders at EU level,  such as UEAPME, Eurochambres and Social Economy Europe.

2. How to apply

Applications from the regions must consist of the following documents:

  • Application form, which includes a prospectus of the candidate region, an overview of its political vision, a description of the governance mechanism that will ensure the effective implementation of SPD actions, as well as an action plan and a communication plan

  • A political commitment statement documenting that the SPD strategy is supported by the relevant political bodies (eg the regional assembly, the regional government or other authorized body).


The application form is available on the SPD website:

3. Evaluation criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

a) Political vision and commitment

  • At its request, the region presents a long-term political vision for the implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe in its territory, focusing, where appropriate, on the current SBA priorities and the principles of SBA-related policy initiatives, such as the "Action Plan for Entrepreneurship 2020" and the "Green Action Plan for SMEs".

  • The application is based on a realistic assessment of the strengths and weaknesses, the region (SWOT analysis) and its direct responsibilities regarding the ten principles of the SBA. The members of the jury take into account the context and the special basic situation of each candidate district.

  • The political vision demonstrates the clear added value of the SPD award for the region, even in terms of its own policy-making.

  • The territorial objectives of the SPD are integrated into the regional development strategy and contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy.

  • Competent political authorities make a strong and credible commitment to implementing the SPD strategy in their territory.


b) Multilevel governance, partnership and cooperation

  • The SPD strategy is developed and implemented in accordance with a multi-level governance approach, involving both the sub-national (communities, etc.) and the national level, where possible.

  • A wide range of relevant actors are involved in the design and implementation of the SPD strategy, including the economic and social partners, educational and research institutions and civil society.

  • There is a proven willingness to exchange good practices with other regions and develop specific cooperation initiatives with other SPD regions.


c) Implementation

  • The strategy includes specific actions for the implementation of the SBA principles falling within the competence of the region through the SPD regime and is not a simple synthesis of existing policies.

  • The implementation of SPD actions follows the principles of good governance and includes effective mechanisms for their monitoring and follow-up.

  • Indicators are provided to measure implementation.

  • The implementation includes measures to ensure the optimal use of the European Structural and Investment Funds and other public funding.

  • The implementation demonstrates how SPD actions will be sustainable beyond the SPD year.

  • The actions envisaged take into account, where possible, the social and environmental aspects, as well as the aspects of innovation and stimulating the sustainable development of SME policy.


d) Communication

  • The application includes an ambitious and convincing communication plan with specific actions at the highest possible level, which are addressed to all key target groups (including SMEs and other relevant bodies).

  • The SPD label will be used to promote regional policy both within the region and at EU level.

  • The planned communication actions will increase the visibility of the CoR and the EU.

4. Eligibility

The SPD label is open to all lower level European territorial entities in the Member State, which have political responsibilities and can implement a comprehensive business vision, regardless of their size, wealth or specific responsibilities. It does not matter whether a territorial entity has legislative powers or not. The budget of each candidate district, the specific structural or territorial challenges it faces and its initial financial situation are taken into account by the judges. Both regions that are already successful and those that, although lagging behind, are committed to implementing the necessary changes to grow their business potential, can be rewarded.

The definition of "region" is the broadest possible. It therefore includes communities, autonomous communities, departments, Länder, provinces, counties, metropolitan areas, large cities, and border areas with legal personality, such as EGTCs. and the Euroregions. To be eligible, regions must have the necessary political competencies to implement an integrated strategy with a view to integrating all or some of the principles of the SBA. Border regions are particularly encouraged to apply.

5. Procedure and deadline for submission of applications

Applications together with the political commitment statement are sent electronically to the following email address: . The deadline for submitting applications for the SPD 2018 expires on 7 April 2017. Applications will be evaluated by the members of the SPC Jury, which consists of CoR members as well as representatives of EU institutions and socio-economic actors.  

THE  Ependysis Business Consultants , with executives who have previously evaluated and not only submitted NSRF investment proposals, can successfully undertake the submission as well as the monitoring of your investment plan.


For more information call the company phones at: 2112155988 or email  .

bottom of page