Minister Ring welcomes announement of the Northern and Western region as European Entrepreneurial Region for 2018

Published 13 July 2017

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, T.D., today (13th July 2017) welcomed the announcement that the Northern and Western region of Ireland has won the award to be one of the EU’s European Entrepreneurial Region for 2018.

Speaking after the award was announced in Brussels today, Minister Ring said:

“The European Entrepreneurial Region is a project that rewards EU regions which show outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial policies, irrespective of their size or wealth.

 The announcement that the Northern and Western region of Ireland has won the award for 2018 is an exceptional achievement.  Notwithstanding that it is a region which is geographically removed from the centre of Europe, the award demonstrates that in this modern era of global communications, geography is no barrier to entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and a “can-do” attitude.

 I want to congratulate David Minton, Director of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, who spearheaded the successful campaign to have the region recognised for its entrepreneurial spirit.  I want to acknowledge also the involvement of Local Authorities and State agencies in the region who worked together to support the bid.”

The Minister continued:

“As a Minister from the West of Ireland, I can attest to the entrepreneurial culture which exists in the region.  I have been consistently impressed with the vibrancy and creative talent in the Northern and Western part of the country.  The region has attracted some of the biggest global names in Lifesciences and ICT services, and these are complemented by a large network of innovative and dynamic Irish-owned enterprises and start-ups.

 Winning the European Entrepreneurial Region award for 2018 will also add impetus to the work which my Department is supporting to develop the concept of an Atlantic Economic Corridor as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development.”


Note for Editors

What is the EER?

The European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) Award is an initiative of the EU’s Committee of the Regions.  It identifies and rewards EU regions and cities with outstanding, future-oriented entrepreneurial strategies, regardless of their size, wealth or specific competences. The territories with the most credible, visible, forward-looking and promising political strategy are granted the label “European Entrepreneurial Region” for a specific year.

The Committee of the Regions launched the EER 2018 call for applications on 23 November 2016. The deadline for the submission of applications was 7 April 2017.  The awards were announced in Brussels on 12th July.

Applications were evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Political vision and commitment
  2. Multi-level governance, partnership and cooperation
  3. Delivery, including concrete actions and monitoring mechanisms
  4. Communication, including an ambitious plan with specific actions that are directed at all key target groups (including SMEs and other relevant actors).

The successful Northern and Western region includes eight counties – Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Monaghan and Cavan.

Atlantic Economic Corridor

The Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) is a collaborative initiative, driven by business representatives and communities and supported by national and local government and State agencies.  The Corridor stretches along the Western seaboard, from Kerry to Donegal.

The overarching objective of the AEC concept is to maximise the region’s assets and connect the economic hubs, clusters and catchments of the region to generate a value proposition of scale which will attract investment and support job creation and an improved quality of life for those who live in the region.