Nominations are closed.

About the Award

The Champion of Regional Cooperation Dr Erhard Busek Award is presented to an individual or organization that has contributed notably to advancing regional cooperation in South East Europe, guided by European values and principles. The original award was inaugurated by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) in February 2013 marking the 5th anniversary of RCC’s establishment. In 2022, in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria (BMEIA),  the title of the award was changed to honour Dr Erhard Busek, who was the Special Co-ordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, the RCC’s predecessor, a staunch supporter of the Western Balkans and an avid advocate of the region’s integration into the European Union.

The RCC and the BMEIA welcome nominations of individuals or organizations from the region who fit the criteria listed below.

Who is eligible?

Individuals or organizations who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for the award:

  • They and their work are based in South East Europe;
  • Their work or activities are cross-border/boundary and/or have a regional reach or outlook;
  • Their work demonstrably contributes to one or more of the following:
    • regional cooperation;
    • regional development;
    • EU integration of the region;
    • promotion of the region;
    • socio-economic inclusivity in the region;
    • any other form of tangible and sustainable benefit to the region;
  • Their work or activities reflect the fundamental values of human rights, fairness, transparency, and equal treatment.
  • Individuals or groups representing and/or working with/for minorities, women, youth or vulnerable groups are particularly encouraged to apply.
    Individuals or organizations nominated for the award should not be affiliated to or financed by political parties or distinct political groups. They and their work should reflect an independence removed from personal, private or political interests.

Governmental or international institutions, including their employees, are not eligible.

Selection process

The Evaluation Committee comprising a representative of the RCC and the BMEIA will conduct the preselection of the received applications. An independent jury will then decide the awardee based on the Evaluation Committee’s preselection. Opportunity to nominate a candidate would be advertised on RCC and BMEIA communication channels, as well as shared with the National Coordinators of the RCC participants from South East Europe. Nomination applications should include: 

  • The name of the individual or organisation nominated for the award;
  • A description of their activities, including substantive and geographical scope (up to 300 words);
  • Evidence of tangible contribution to regional cooperation (links to websites, articles, or stories about nominee’s activities and achievements).

Nomination can be submitted by the nominees themselves or on their behalf by a third party. Anyone is eligible to nominate.

Applications should be submitted through the application form by 2 May 2024.

What‘s in there for the winners?
  • Financial reward in the amount of 10.000 EUR awarded at the ceremony that will be held back-to-back with the Annual Meeting of the RCC.
  • Increased visibility of the work and contribution of the awardee, making their efforts better noted and thus more relevant.
Previous laureates

The period for submission of nominations for the award in 2024 will open on 02 April 2024 and close on 2 May 2024.

Terms and conditions

The awardee must be present at the award ceremony to receive the award.

The decisions of the Evaluation Committee and the independent jury will be final and binding.

The award may not be transferred to another person or organization.

The RCC and the BMEIA reserve the right to use the name and image of the awardee for publicity and promotional purposes.