The European Economic Forum has been organised periodically for several years by the Łódzkie region in Poland and has become a fixture in the calendar of the most prominent business events in the country. It provides a platform for entrepreneurs to share their experiences and covers various business topics including entrepreneurship, logistics, transport, new technologies, research, and innovation among other topics.
The Forum's session on Supporting Entrepreneurship – Local Government Experiences from Abroad was hosted by the Marshal of the Łódzkie region in Poland, ECR Member Grzegorz Schreiber, and organised in partnership with the ECR Group in the CoR.
Marshal Grzegorz Schreiber talked about the Łódzkie region's biggest project in supporting entrepreneurship locally, which involved the creation of a mechanism for local entrepreneurs to very quickly create facemasks during the pandemic. Manufacturers happily accepted the opportunity and the region distributed the masks free of charge to its inhabitants. "We helped entrepreneurs and inhabitants to get through this crisis", claimed Marshal Schreiber.
ECR member Guido Castelli, who is also regional minister of the Marche region in Italy, discussed how reducing administrative burdens could really help local entreprenuers: "Italy is well known for its labyrinth of regulations. What we want to ensure is that the financial flow of our companies is subject to as little administrative burden as possible."
Moving up north to talk about the Netherlands was ECR First Vice-President Rob Jonkman, who serves as alderman in Opsterland. Mr Jonkman discussed the effectiveness of visiting local businesses to see how support can be provided in "creating new jobs and helping students enter the job market". In addition to these visits, the Opsterland province also gives guidance when it comes to national support schemes".
Raymund Kovács, ECR member and Councillor in Budapest, highlighted the success of the Hungarian model whereby economic support is mainly provided by the central government. Its success has been translated into Hungary having the "third highest GDP growth rate in the EU".
"Cooperation with entrepreneurs is key to the revitalisation of city centres" – this was the Mayor of Potenza and ECR member Mario Guarente's insight into local government experiences from abroad in supporting entrepreneurship.
The event took place on 27 October.