Today on the Promoting Enterprise news portal, we are excited to introduce you to the seven 2022 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury members. The EEPA jury is made up of representatives from the European Commission, business associations, academia, the current European presidencies, and the last Grand Jury Prize winner.
Let´s give a warm welcome to Thomas Wobben, Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker, Thomas Cooney, Outi Slotboom, Christel Delberghe, Caroline Mischler and Marian Piecha.
There are seven jury members in total. We begin our introduction with Thomas Wobben, who is representing the Committee of the Regions. After studying Economics and Politics, Thomas worked for voluntary sector organisations and, in 1993, joined the European policy services of Saxony-Anhalt. In 1995, he began working in the Liaison Office of Saxony-Anhalt in Brussels, taking over as Director in 2000. Since March 2012, he has been Director for Horizontal Policies and Networks and later for legislative works at the Committee of the Regions.
“Every year the EEPA competition offers me a sample of a European diversity. Looking at the EEPA projects, I try to assess their impact and added value in a specific territorial context, in particular shortlisting those that inspire and provide at least some transferability potential to other territories with similar characteristics,” Thomas said.
Representing last year’s Grand Jury prize-winner is Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker. Selma is Programme Director of “COMPETENZentrum für Selbständige” at ISI (Initiative of Self-Employed Migrant Women), a non-profit association in Berlin, Germany which, for more than 30 years, has been empowering and qualifying women with a migration background, preparing them for professional self-employment.
Representing academia is Professor Thomas Cooney, who has been a jury member for several years and brings significant experience to the role. Thomas is Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Dublin Institute of Technology and Academic Director of the TU Dublin Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship.
Next, we introduce you to Outi Slotboom. Outi is Director for Strategy and Economic Analysis at the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission. Her Directorate is in charge of the strategy for EU industrial policy and the Single Market, small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurship, the international aspects of industrial policy, and the economic analysis underpinning these policies.
Next, we meet Christel Delberghe, providing expertise from a business association perspective. Christel has been Director General of EuroCommerce since November 2021, where she acts as the chief advocate for the retail and wholesale sector with the EU institutions, stakeholders and the media. Previously, she was EuroCommerce’s Executive Director for Competitiveness and Communications, leading action on commercial relations and competition issues, as well as the interests of wholesalers and SMEs.
Next, we would like to introduce you to Caroline Mischler, who is representing the French EU presidency. Caroline is the Director of the European and International Department of the Directorate General for Enterprises, at the French Ministry of Economy and Finance. Caroline joined the Directorate General in 2005 and has held various positions, designing public policies to support competitiveness, innovation and industry. She was appointed Director of the European and International Department in 2019.
Finally, we would like to introduce you to Marian Piecha, who represents the Czech EU presidency on this year’s jury. In 2008, Marian was appointed the Director of the Department of Business and Investment at the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade. From 2013 to 2014, he was the CEO of the business and investment support agency CzechInvest. Since 2014, he was the Director of the MIT ́s SME Support Department. He was appointed Deputy Minister of the EU Funds and Digital Economy Section on February 1, 2018.
The EEPA competition has two stages. Applicants must first compete at national level to be eligible to compete at European level. For the national competition, each country nominates up to two entries for the European competition in six categories:
• Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit 
• Investing in skills 
• Improving the business environment and supporting the digital transition 
• Supporting the internationalisation of business 
• Supporting the sustainable transition 
• Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship 
The #EEPA2022 jury then chooses a shortlist of nominees to compete at the final awards ceremony, which recognises the winners for their efforts and gives them the opportunity to present themselves in a pan-European environment.
For more information, visit the European Commission website and get the latest updates on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal, and make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter.
For more information, visit the the European Commission website  and get the latest updates on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal , and make sure to follow us on Twitter , Facebook  and Instagram  accounts and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter .