Five projects from across Europe have won a RegioStars awards for the best initiatives that create jobs and improve the lives of the people at the regional level. During the ceremony in Brussels, the european Committee of the regions has also celebrated 30 years of the cohesion policy of the EU. Among the categories, a prize awarded including the best sustainable development initiative.
For this price, the winner is the Helsinki region in Finland ! “We try to promote the circular economy and our tool is to build a new type of textile product technology. This will provide a better world to our children and… it will save the world !”, enthusiasm Marjo Määttänen for the project Cotton Recycling.
The textile cotton is recycled and re-spun into a fiber that resembles the viscose using chemicals that are less polluting and produce less waste than most techniques.
“I particularly like to exchange good practices and we find that this is amplified, it has an added value on the ground that creates jobs,” judge Corina Cretu, the european commissioner for regional policy.
The winner of the RegioStars awards 2018 in the category of investment in cultural heritage is Wales, with the project Nant Gwrtheyrn. This project has given new life to the village.
Europe gives hope
“For the past 40 years we have redesigned the welsh language and Nant Gwrtheyrn is a place where adults can learn Welsh. The funds of the european Union intervene when someone has a dream and they can really make the difference. So you need funding to help this dream to become reality and this is what happened in Nant Gwrtheyrn : it was a village died, nobody lived there and we could rebuild it. Today it is a community full of life, which employs 30 people,” explains Jim O’rourke about this project around the welsh language.
“All the nominated projects are projects with a result that can inspire other people, and where we can see that it is not necessary to be afraid of Europe, Europe gives hope !”, reacts Karl-Heinz Lambertz president of the european Committee of the regions.
The region of Murcia in Spain has won a prize in the category “the challenge of the migration crisis”. “Our project is a protocol to help people, the refugees, to get basic things like a house, health care and all the support skills to find a job, “says Javier Celdrán Lorente, the minister of employment and business for the region of Murcia in Spain.
Hope for the future
“The program has been very useful to me and my family to leave behind all the horror that we have known, “says Mohamad Tarek Gellawi, a refugee from Damascus in Syria.
“We’ve thought of a protocol with the european funds that is not just talking about numbers or budgets, but of human beings, people who have these dramatic situations, and that with our help, have hope for the future“, concluded Javier Celdrán Lorente.
Among the winners there is also an initiative of Czech, which seeks to provide social housing to the poor people, and a Portuguese project that makes come from the computer companies in a predominantly rural region.