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Meeting the 2022 EEPA Jury – Thomas Wobben

Here on the Promoting Enterprise Portal, we have already featured interviews with several of the 2022 European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) jury members: Thomas Cooney [1], Selma Yilmaz-Schwenker [2], Outi Slotboom [3], Marian Piecha [4] and Christel Delberghe [5]. Now it’s the turn of Thomas Wobben, who is representing the Committee of the Regions [6]. He gives us his views on the uniqueness of the EEPA and offers some useful advice for entrants.

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After studying economics and politics, Thomas worked in the voluntary sector, before joining the European policy services of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt in 1993. In 1995, he moved to the Saxony-Anhalt Liaison Office in Brussels, taking over as Director in 2000. Thomas has been with the Committee of the Regions since March 2012, firstly as Director for Horizontal Policies and Networks, then as Director for Legislative Work.

What do you think makes this competition unique in Europe?

The EEPA is a great opportunity for initiatives at local, regional or national level to show their concepts and achievements in promoting entrepreneurship, for example by helping SMEs to enter new markets or fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in education and training. Coming from the Committee of the Regions, it is also very positive to see that many of the EEPA entries and winners focus their work on the local and regional level.

Do you have any advice for the participants on how to make their application stand out from the rest and include the information that you need to evaluate the project?

The EEPA is about honouring innovative ideas, strong commitment and convincing results that could be replicated in other parts of the EU. The better these elements are described in the application, the higher the chances are.

What do you think the jury members will be specifically looking for in the EEPA 2022 competition?

The jury members will be looking for initiatives and strategies on how to address the current challenges for entrepreneurs and SMEs with regard to the digital and green transition, an inclusive society and responding to the current crisis.

Which are the top three qualities you will look for in a winning project?

For me, the top three qualities for the winners are convincing results, an innovative nature and transferability of the approach.

You still have one EEPA jury member to meet, so make sure to visit the Promoting enterprise news portal [8] regularly. We will introduce you soon! For more EEPA updates follow us on Twitter [9], Facebook [10] and Instagram [11] and subscribe to our newsletter [12] for all the latest news.