Emerging Europe rewards its champions at Brussels summit and awards prizes

Individuals, businesses and organizations from across Central and Eastern Europe saw their work rewarded at the fifth annual Emerging Europe Summit and Awards in Brussels.

The work of more than 60 NGOs, businesses and individuals from across Central and Eastern Europe was recognized in Brussels on June 23 at the Emerging Europe Future Summit and Awards 2022, the fifth edition of a program that showcases best practice, innovation and courage across the region.

The winners, spread across the five pillars of emerging Europe, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (People, Planet, Prosperity, Partnership, Peace), were largely chosen by Europe’s global community. emerging: in total, more than 8,000 votes were cast for the various nominees.

The awards were presented by the BBC’s Kasia Madera.

people and the planet

Among the People pillar winners was Unbreakable Campaign, a Serbian initiative that has helped prevent the coronavirus pandemic from being followed by an epidemic of mental health issues, and combats the growing depression and stigma that accompanies those who suffer from their mental well-being.

Young in the Arena, which runs a national mentoring program in Romania for young people aged 16-24 to help them become successful entrepreneurs, was also honored – in the youth empowerment category -, while that another Romanian initiative, Code KIDS, creating a STEM movement across the country, was the future-proof education initiative of the year.

Cold Revolution, an exhibition encouraging critical reflection on social revolution, won the award for Artistic Achievement of the Year.

In the Planet pillar, the energy efficiency project in public buildings in Lutsk, Ukraine, won the Green Energy Initiative award, together with Ecoreactive, an organization committed to mitigating climate change by promoting a green economy – and also of Ukraine – taking the gong Sustainable Lifestyles.


The People-First Economy Award, one of six prosperity categories, was awarded to My First Salary, a Serbian initiative that fights youth unemployment by financially supporting the first job of under-30s.

“This is the kind of project, bringing together the public and private sector, that we would like to see launched in other countries,” said Vukašin Grozdić, adviser to the cabinet of the Serbian prime minister.

Other winners included Armenia’s Iris Business Incubator, for empowering entrepreneurs, including people with immigrant and refugee backgrounds, to develop successful businesses, and Poland’s Docplanner Group, which was named Global Champion of the Year for Emerging Europe.

A global healthcare platform, Docplanner has strengthened its leading position as a provider of SaaS solutions for patients, doctors and clinics around the world in 2021.

The region’s Foreign Investor of the Year was SK IE Technology, for its contribution to strengthening electromobility and growing Poland’s position as a European production leader in the car industry electrical.

The Estonian Investment Agency won the Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) of the Year award – for the third consecutive year – while Prague was named Business-Friendly City of the Year: two categories whose winners were determined by empirical research from emerging Europe.

“There are many opportunities in this region, and I hope all IPAs in the region will work together to attract more and more foreign direct investment,” said Joonas Vänto, director of the Estonian Investment Agency.

Partnership & Peace

Ukraine’s DIIA city, for its unique contribution to positioning the country as a powerful IT hub, was named Modern and Future-Proof Policy Initiative of the Year. The country’s IT sector has been a beacon of resilience since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

“We launched DIIA City just weeks before the Russian invasion, but we already have hundreds of companies and around 20,000 IT experts on board. They are the heroes of our economic frontline,” said Georgii Dubinskyi, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, as he accepted the award.

For its creativity in transforming a comic strip into a tool for media education and critical thinking in Armenia, Poland and Ukraine, Artifake won the Media Freedom Award, along with Grupa Granica, a Polish NGO helping migrants on the country’s eastern border, worthy of the human rights award. winners.

Moldovan environmental activist Gabriela Isac was named Young Influencer of the Year and Vedrana Likan de Colliers, Female Entrepreneur of the Year.

“The future is female, and not just in business,” said Vedrana Likan.

President Maia Sandu of Moldova has been named by Emerging Europe as its Public Figure of the Year, in recognition of her unwavering commitment to democracy, the rule of law and a European future for Moldova.

Finally, two personalities from the world of international diplomacy and cinema have been named winners of the Professor Günter Verheugen and Princess Marina Sturdza Emerging Europe Awards for 2022.

The Professor Günter Verheugen Prize, awarded to eminent persons from outside emerging Europe who have contributed to the prosperity and peace of the region, was awarded this year to Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former British Minister for Foreign Affairs foreigners, while the Princess Marina Sturdza Prize, awarded to eminent personalities in the region who have contributed to its prosperity, science, culture and peace, went to Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland.

“I am incredibly humbled and moved to receive this award,” said Sir Malcolm, who paid tribute to the progress made by the region of emerging Europe over the past 30 years.

“It turned out to be significantly better than anything that seemed likely in the 1980s, when these countries were all still part of the Soviet Union or under its influence,” he said.

The full list of winners of the Emerging Europe Awards 2022:


Artistic realization: Cold Revolution (Poland)

Health and social protection: unbreakable campaign (Serbia)

Youth Empowerment: Youth in the Arena (Romania)

Future-proof education: CODE Kids (Romania)


Green energy: energy efficiency project in public buildings in Lutsk (Ukraine)

Sustainable lifestyles: Ecoreactive (Ukraine)


People-driven economy: my first salary (Serbia)

Inclusive entrepreneurship: Iris Business Incubator (Armenia)

Foreign investor: SK IE Technology

World Champion: Docplanner Group (Poland)

Investment Promotion Agency: Estonian Investment Agency

Business-friendly city: Prague


Regional Collaboration: Sustainable Energy Union of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

Modern and scalable policymaking: DIIA City (Ukraine)


Democracy, human rights and rule of law: Grupa Granica (Poland)

Media freedom and responsible reporting: Artifake (Armenia, Poland, Ukraine)

Individual awards

Public figure of the year: Maia Sandu (Moldova)

Professor Günter Verheugen Prize: Sir Malcolm Rifkind

Marina Sturdza Award: Agnieszka Holland (Poland)

Company manager: Vedrana Likan (Croatia)

Young influencer: Gabriela Isac (Moldova)

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