An independent RegioStars Awards Jury, led by MEP Lambert Van Nistelrooij as Jury President, selected 23 finalists from 104 entries on the basis of four key criteria: innovation, impact, sustainability and partnership.
The 23 selected finalists come from regions and cities in 14 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The five categories are: Cat. 1 Smart Growth: Emerging opportunities in the global economy; Cat. 2 Sustainable Growth: Circular Economy; Cat. 3 Inclusive Growth: Integrated living – building inclusive communities; Cat. 4 CityStar: Innovative solutions for sustainable urban development; Cat. 5 Effective management: Making a difference by managing differently.
Winners will be announced on Tuesday 11 October in Brussels, during the RegioStars Award Ceremony. More information: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/regio-stars-awards/#1
Selected finalist from Lithuania – voluntary transparency initiative "Jonvabaliai"
Lithuanian project was selected as a finalist in the category "Effective management: Making a difference by managing differently". Improving the public perception of transparency in the use of EU funds was the main goal of the voluntary Initiative "Jonvabaliai" (Fireflies).
The project was centred around an interactive website, hosting a map with projects financed by European Structural Funds. Project managers could, on a voluntarily basis, submit information on their project such as results, prices, public procurement procedures, company's shareholders, anti-corruption measures, funds management and more. The more information was made public, the more “transparency fireflies” the project would earn.
Since September 2014, more than 630 project managers have joined the initiative following a series of actions which encouraged projects to join. These included an advertising campaign, a contest for municipalities, the possibility to use the initiative’s visual identity, the proposal to join open-project days, the production of road-signs inviting people to visit the projects, as well as a TV-show dedicated to the Fireflies project.
The Fireflies website was visited by 35 500 unique visitors accounting for 140 000 page views and as a result of the project, the proportion of citizens who consider the transparency level on allocation of EU funds’ as “transparent” or “rather transparent” increased from 28% to 50. 9%.
Website - Transparency Initiative Jonvabaliai