BannerInitiatives to support to the social economy in Poland and to increase transparency of EU spending in Lithuania are recognised as innovative good practices. The 2016 RegioStars award in the category "Inclusive growth" went to the Academy of Social Economy Development. This project was implemented by theRegional Centre for Social Policy in Krakow, Poland and co-financed by the European Social Fund.

The project aimed to bring together individuals in difficult situations (for example unemployed, disabled people, refugees, substance abusers, mentally ill) and organisations which could help them re-integrating into society (such as NGOs, local government representatives, social and employment service, social economy entities) and create a professional and comprehensive support infrastructure for social economy in the Malopolska Region.

Over 1700 individuals benefitted from the project, as well as 245 social economy entities and 203 service entities. In addition, 126 organisations participated in local partnerships, a paper magazine was created and distributed to 1500 persons and 22 study tours were organised as well as 10 social economy events.

In the category "Effective management", the prize was awarded to the Lithuanian project Jonvabaliai (Fireflies). Its main goal was improving the public perception of transparency in the use of EU funds.

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. [más]