Eurada was created in December 1991 in the form of a non-profit organisation under the Belgian law, the purpose being to:
- Encourage exchanges of experience between members and promote "best practice" in the field of local and regional economic development;
- Promote the recognition of the development agencies as specific mechanisms and economic development entities;
- Participate in the development and delivery of territorial development programmes and/or support programmes for companies and in particular small and medium sized enterprises;
- Reinforce and better organise technical cooperation both with the European Commission and other Community institutions;
- Assist the development agencies newly set up in the non European Union countries;
- Promote the emergence of cooperation projects between development agencies of several countries.
Even if in the Member States of the European Union, development agencies have developed at different times and under different legal forms, the common concerns identified are sufficiently strong and convergent to justify a federative association.
In spite of their diversity, the development agencies have developed original forms of economic intervention amongst which are principally those of :
- Assisting in company creation;
- The counselling of companies and the training of their management cadres;
- The promotion of enterprise zones or the attraction of local or foreign investors;
- The stimulation of technology transfer and intercompany partnership;
- The creation and management of company incubators;
- The provision, in certain countries, or risk capital
- The conducting of studies and territorial planning initiatives;
- The re-generation of areas made derelict by industrial blight.
At the Community level a more and more important role of the development agencies has been recorded in areas such as :
- The implementation of relevant Community policies;
- The management of Community credits and subsidies;
- The motivation for other economic actors to participate both locally and regionally in Community programmes;
- Participation in implementation programmes or those of evaluation and follow-up of Community policies.
In this context, the association federates development agencies responding to the following definition criteria:
"Any organisation having
- a mission of economic development encompassing the global economic interest of a geographical zone;
- significant ties with a local authority as much from the point of view of its financing or from its objectives;
- a sufficiently important and relevant geographical working area".
EURADA presents an activity programme encompassing the following:
- the exchange of information on the regional development strategies, the assistance to enterprises and the training of development agency executives;
- the analysis of Community Policy impact;
- the development of cooperation projects between different development agencies;
- the promotion of innovative and transferable techniques in the field of local and regional economic development;
- the dissemination of relevant information in sofar as that concerns Community policies as much as best practice;
- a relevant form open to new forms of know-how exchange between development agencies
- a reflection on new management methods of regional development or of development agencies.
When implementing this activity programme, EURADA has:
- Published several memorandums on Community policies of a real interest to its members (Structural Funds, Information Society, 5th RTD Framework programme ...);
- Worked out several summary documents relating to the experiences and competences of its members (Financial engineering, Internationalisation of SMEs ...);
- Managed and coordinated transregional cooperation programmes cofinanced by the European Commission, namely within the framework of the regional policies, vocational training, assistance to the Central and Eastern European Countries;
- Promoted the emergence of a European network of regional business angels clubs;
- Organised two annual meetings of all its members (generally in April and October);
- Circulated several documents presenting the competences of RDAs;
- Circulated a directory of its members. That document contains standard information on the agencies? intervention areas;
- Tested a benchmarking model of the regional competitiveness.
EURADA is self-financed through the membership fees perceived (2200 EUR per year). In 2000, some 150 development agencies active in 20 different countries have contributed to cofinancing EURADA.
EURADA is also in contact with the sister associations in the USA, Canada and Australia though the INED network.
- Avenue des Arts, 12 - Bte 7 - B 1210 Bruxelles
- Tel. +32 2 218 43 13 - Fax. +32 2 218 45 83
- E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web site : http://www.eurada.org
President : Göran EKSTRÖM
Director : Christian SAUBLENS