News & Analysis

Future of Emerging Europe Awards 2022 shortlists announced

Winners are set to be named at a ceremony in Brussels on June 23.

Almost 50 organisations and individuals from across Central, Eastern, South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus have been shortlisted for the fifth edition of the Future of Emerging Europe Awards. 

“Each year we are amazed by the creativity, innovation and the hard work of all the projects, initiatives, organisations and individuals we see,” says Andrew Wrobel, Emerging Europe’s founding partner. 

“As an organisation, we are honoured that we can contribute to showcasing all of these projects to the world.” 

Winners of the awards will be chosen by a mix of jury and public votes: votes can be cast here until May 31. Award winners will be announced at a ceremony set to take place in Brussels on June 23. 

The Future of Emerging Europe programme promotes environmental, social and governance practices (ESG) and sustainable development goals within the framework of the United Nations’ development dimensions. It brings together like-minded individuals and leading organisations that want to have a meaningful impact on the future of the emerging Europe region. 

Pivoting on knowledge exchange, action taking and celebrating achievements, the programme’s activities include the Future of Emerging Europe Awards ceremony, as well as a summit, also set for Brussels on June 23. 

“In line with our mission to foster social, economic and democratic development in the region, this ongoing Emerging Europe flagship initiative creates knowledge, generates debate, identifies growth opportunities and takes action towards progress,” adds Wrobel. 

“We are looking forward to the awards ceremony that will once again connect like-minded, creative and foresightful individuals from the region, and I call on anyone with a stake in the region’s well-being to participate – both by attending the event and by voting for their preferred shortlisted candidates.”  

One award winner, decided by the Emerging Europe editorial team, has already been named.  

Earlier this year, Moldovan President Maia Sandu was chosen as this year’s Emerging Europe Public Figure of the Year.  

“This award is recognition for President Sandu’s commitment to democracy and the rule of law, and to the fight against corruption in Moldova,” says Wrobel. 

“This commitment was demonstrated on several occasions during 2021, not least in the president’s ultimately successful efforts to dissolve parliament and hold a free and fair election, as well as in her openness to building a long-term and sustainable partnership with the European Union.” 

The winners of two further awards, Business-Friendly City of the Year and Best Investment Promotion Agency – to be decided by the results of Emerging Europe’s independent research – will be announced the coming weeks, ahead of the awards ceremony in Brussels. 


The full list of 2022 nominees: 

Future-proof education  

DIGITAL EXPEDITION (Serbia) 

For spreading awareness about the potential, benefits, and dangers of the digital space in the 21st century, whilst improving digital literacy among the citizens of Serbia. 

AYB HYBRID LEARNING (Armenia)  

For making use of modern technologies and hybrid solutions to ensure that quality education is accessible to everyone, everywhere.  

CODE KIDS (Romania) 

For fostering a coding and STEM movement in which children, young people and librarians from rural and small urban public areas develop digital skills and get involved in the life of their communities. 


Health and social care 

WARSAW HEALTH INNOVATION HUB (Poland) 

For contributing to the development of technological and legal solutions to improve patient health  

and increase the efficiency of the Polish health care system, whilst bringing together business, public and scientific entities. 

UNBREAKABLE CAMPAIGN (Serbia) 

For preventing the coronavirus pandemic being followed by an epidemic of mental health conditions, and fighting the growing depression and stigma that accompanies those suffering with their mental well-being. 

HEALTHY BOOST (Central & North-East Europe) 

For addressing the health burden of city residents due to unhealthy lifestyles by making urban policies for health and well-being more innovative, more effective and more integrated. 


Youth Empowerment 

YOUNG IN THE ARENA (Romania) 

For running a nationwide mentorship programme for young persons aged 16-24 to support them to become successful entrepreneurs.  

SKALA MAGAZINE (North Macedonia) 

For channelling their creativity to address social issues through an arts magazine and giving young Macedonian artists a platform to exhibit their work, thus advocating for local creators. 

PERSPEKTIVA4YOUTH (Albania)  

For their work in promoting youth empowerment and human rights through artistic and educational activities. 


Artistic achievement 

COMMUNISM THROUGH THE LENS: EVERYDAY LIFE CAPTURED BY WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE DODGE COLLECTION, an exhibition organised by Maria Garth, for giving visibility to women photographers and their perceptions of life under communism and highlighting for the first time the central role played by women in redefining photography’s social reach and expressivity. (US) 

COLD REVOLUTION: CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN SOCIETIES IN TIMES OF SOCIALIST REALISM, 1948-1959, an exhibition fostering critical thinking about the social revolution and profound transformation during that period, in six countries of the former Eastern Bloc, not only showing images of cheerful workers certain about their bright future but also those far from propaganda enthusiasm, sometimes marked by melancholy or anxiety. (Poland) 

THE HILL WHERE LIONESSES ROAR, a film by Luàna Bajrami, a plaintive portrait of three teenage girls kicking against their suffocating small-town life in Kosovo fuelled by righteous anger and conviction that they deserve better. (Kosovo)  


Green energy 

PILOT SYSTEM FOR GREEN ENERGY PRODUCTION AND SMART COMMUNAL SERVICES IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS (Bulgaria) 

For facilitating increased energy efficiency in kindergartens via sustainable green energy production for self-consumption and remote energy monitoring, whilst also ensuring better air quality. 

PROJECT FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS IN LUTSK (Ukraine) 

For contributing to climate change mitigation and transition to a green economy in Ukraine and improvements in the quality of life of the local community. 

IFC AND RBRO INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE CLIMATE FINANCE, DRIVE LOW-CARBON GROWTH (Romania) 

For increasing access to climate finance, whilst boosting the resilience of the banking sector and supporting Romania’s climate goals. 


Sustainable lifestyles  

ASOCIATIA SOMARO – MAGAZINUL SOCIAL (Romania)   

For promoting the idea of social supermarkets, ensuring high quality food at fair prices for families in need. 

ECOREACTIVE – WORKSHOP ON PLASTIC RECYCLING (Ukraine)   

For fostering eco-awareness and practices on solid and waste sorting, and recycling and reuse as raw materials. 

REMESH (Romania) 

For linking upcycling, the circular economy and the inclusion of women in vulnerable situations, by running a work-integration sewing workshop. 


People-first economy 

SUPPORTING E-WORK MARKET DEVELOPMENT IN RURAL AREAS (Georgia) 

For tackling the gap between rural and urban areas, whilst addressing the skills mismatch in the labour market and advancing e-work market development in Georgia. 

MY FIRST SALARY (Serbia)  

For addressing youth unemployment, by financially supporting first-job placements of those under 30 and facilitating matching between young persons and employers. 

SECOND BALKAN RURAL PARLIAMENT (South-East Europe) 

For strengthening regional cooperation and contributing to the representation of communities in policymaking for rural development


Inclusive entrepreneurship 

GOOGLE.ORG IMPACT CHALLENGE Central and Eastern Europe (Central and Eastern Europe) 

For supporting initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe that put digital inclusion at the heart of the economic recovery. 

IRIS BUSINESS INCUBATOR (Armenia) 

For empowering entrepreneurs, including persons with a migrant and refugee background, in developing successful ventures, by offering training, coaching, mentoring and access to finance. 

USAID ECONOMY SECURITY PROGRAMME (Georgia)

For unlocking regional economic opportunities for Georgia while supporting the development of enterprises and job creation through smart incentives. 


Global Champion 

DOCPLANNER (Poland) 

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

INNOVARTICS (Slovakia) 

A leading global company and trusted partner in biometric identity management technology that has reinforced market expansion to other regions. 

TRESORIT (Hungary) 

A high-growth IT security company dedicated to cybersecurity solutions, including cloud encryption and collaboration, that are currently used worldwide. 


Foreign Investor 

SK IE TECHNOLOGY (Poland) 

For their contribution to strengthen electromobility and contributing to the growth of Poland’s position as a European production leader in this industry. 

NCR (Serbia) 

For their support in raising the profile of Belgrade as a tech hub by opening their largest technology park in Europe. 

CONCENTRIX (Georgia) 

For valuing Georgia’s talented workforce and attracting global players into the national market, by operating a new virtual work-at-home office from the country. 


Regional collaboration 

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN SUSTAINABLE ENERGY UNION (Central & Eastern Europe) 

For building the capacity of public administrators in Central and Eastern Europe to promote increased energy efficiency, sustainable energy, reduced carbon emissions and improved climate change adaptability. 

EIT COMMUNITY HUB (Hungary) 

For fostering knowledge sharing, business creation and acceleration and innovation partnerships in healthcare, climate, urban mobility and raw materials to support more entrepreneurs and SMEs across Central and Eastern Europe. 

SCANBALT (Estonia) 

For their contribution to inter-regional cooperation on health and bio economy, by being a facilitator for networking and joint projects.  


Modern and future-proof policy 

DIIA CITY (Ukraine) 

For its unique contribution to position Ukraine as a powerful IT hub, by creating enabling conditions for companies to grow and attract foreign investment. 

SANDBOX FOR INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS (Bulgaria)  

For pushing for local innovation and smart city solutions that can improve the quality of life and stimulate local businesses. 

E-GOVERNANCE ACADEMY (Estonia) 

For its work in supporting public sector and civil society organisations in navigating e-governance and digital transformation. 


Media freedom 

ARTI VS FAKE (Armenia, Poland and Ukraine)  

For their creativity in turning a comic book into a tool for media literacy and critical thinking in Armenia, Poland and Ukraine. 

OKO.PRESS (Poland) 

For their contribution to make leaders accountable for their statements, while ensuring quality and fact-based information in Poland. 

MEDIA4CHANGE (Lithuania)  

For bringing human rights and diversity to the centre of journalism and their contribution to investigative journalism and media literacy. 


Female business leader 

VEDRANA LIKAN (Croatia) 

For her long-lasting commitment towards promoting positive changes in society, as well as systematic efforts to empower women in business. 

BEATA DASZYŃSKA-MUZYCZKA (Poland) 

For her strategic regional growth and leadership achievements in elevating the importance of the emerging Europe region, thus being a role model for other women. 

LIUDMILA CLIMOC (Romania) 

For her business growth achievement in a sector characterised by fierce competition and massive investment requirements and for empowering other women to follow her path. 


Young influencer 

GABRIELA ISAC (Moldova)  

For her commitment as an environmental activist to educate and make Moldova greener and more resilient to climate change. 

GRESA HASA (Albania)  

For her outspoken advocacy for women’s rights and commitment towards grassroot and collective action. 

WIKTORIA MAGNUSZEWSKA (Poland)  

For her determination in defending the human rights of LGBT+ persons in Poland and beyond. 


You can vote here, and find out more about the Future of Emerging Europe programme here.


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