This year, for the first time, entrants in the European Business Awards submitted a video case study for online voting. In addition, an esteemed panel of judges chose organisations that exhibited innovation, business excellence and sustainability.

Jorge Cortell, Founder and President of Kanteron Systems:

We’re proud to be selected to represent Spain as a National Champion in our category, along with companies like Bankinter, Iberdrola, or everis. The European Business Awards is widely recognised as the showcase for Europe’s most dynamic companies and we are now looking forward to the next round of the judging process where we can explain in more depth how we are achieving business success in these tough economic conditions.

The European Business Awards are Europe’s biggest and most competitive business awards programme, celebrating Europe’s brightest businesses, seeking companies that can demonstrate commercial success, innovation and ethical best practice. This year the Awards team have engaged with over 15,000 organisations across Europe. In 2011, the Awards saw impressive entries from organisations with a combined turnover greater of over €1 trillion Euros across the 28 EU countries plus emerging nations (8.23% of EU GDP including Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Kazakhstan). Together these businesses employ over 2.7 million people across the continent.

Feedback to the award.

Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade:

I realise very well how difficult it is to run a business under the current circumstances with international competition ever more fierce and tangible in practically all sectors. The pressure on our companies is huge, and yet they manage to perform at the highest level in the world. Europe is still the place where people want to do business. The success of Europe is to a large extent thanks to all of you.

Yves Leterme, Former Prime Minister of Belgium:

I pay a lot of respect to what is happening in European companies, we have excellent people in our businesses and the achievements are really impressive. I think the European Business Awards is a very good stimulus for companies to always try to improve their results… it’s a way of rewarding them for their great efforts.

Christine Lagarde, French Minister of Economy, Finance and Employment:

It is wonderful that all the states of Europe are together [in entering the European Business Awards]. We want a strong Europe and you are participating in the process of building a strong Europe, piece by piece.

Petar Stoyanov, former President of Bulgaria:

This event inspires and stimulates European Business to reaching exacting criteria, where not only annual turnover and sales count, but also factors with high social importance – what we call business ethics.

Between now  and January 2013, National Champions will be reassessed by a third panel of judges made up of Europe-wide business leaders, academics and entrepreneurs who will award the top organisations the coveted Ruban d’Honneur status. Finally, after face-to-face presentations in Düsseldorf (Germany) in February 2013, the Ruban d’Honneur recipients will be honoured and the names of the overall winners will be revealed at a Gala awards ceremony in April 2013.