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Multiannual programme for enterprises and entrepreneurship, and in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises

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The European Union aims, by adopting a multiannual programme for enterprises and entrepreneurship, and in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises, to enhance the competitiveness of enterprises, simplify and improve their regulatory, administrative and financial environment, give them easier access to Community support services and programmes and to promote entrepreneurship.

ACT

Council Decision of 20 December 2000 on a multiannual programme for enterprise and entrepreneurship, and in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (2001-2005) [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

IMPLEMENTATION

Budget and timetable

1. The programme was initially allocated a budget of 450 million euros for a period of 5 years running from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2005.

2. Decision 2000/819/EC has been extended by a year by Decision 2005/1776/EC, until 31 December 2006, and its budget has increased by 88.5 million euros. The continuation of EU support for enterprises, and in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises, is therefore secured until 2007 when the competitiveness and innovation framework programme (CIP) will build on the actions of the current programme.

Committee procedures

3. A committee made up of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a Commission representative assists the European Commission in implementing the programme. Its main tasks are to decide on the annual work programmes and their budgetary allocation, to define the criteria and content of invitations to tender which exceed 100 000 euros and to adopt performance indicators to evaluate the actions taken under the programme.

Evaluation

4. The European Commission evaluates the implementation of the Multiannual Programme and, every two years, submits to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions an evaluation report on progress made in taking account of enterprise policy as a whole and of the implementation of the European Charter for Small Enterprises. An external evaluation report also has to be drawn up by the end of December 2004.

Participating countries

5. In addition to the Member States of the European Union, the programme is open to the Member States of the European Economic Area and, and in accordance with appropriate procedures, should also be open to the candidate countries.

AREAS OF ACTION

6. In order to achieve the five objectives of the programme, various business-support measures are promoted.

Enhancing growth and the competitiveness of business in a knowledge-based economy

7. These measures deal with enhancing competitiveness and innovation, preparing enterprises for globalisation and promoting the use of new information and communication technologies.

Promoting entrepreneurship

8. These measures are specifically aimed at promoting business start-ups and transfers, developing training in entrepreneurship, and identifying and promoting specific policies for SMEs.

Simplifying and improving the administrative and regulatory environment for business, in particular to promote research and innovation

9. These measures deal in particular with improving the business impact assessment system for all proposed Community legislation, and with producing better regulation.

Improving the financial environment for business, especially SMEs

10. These measures relate in particular to improving the financial environment for business, developing proximity funding (business angels) and organising round tables of bankers and SMEs.

Giving business easier access to Community support services, programmes and networks and improving the coordination of these facilities

11. These measures promote simpler access to Community programmes, better coordination between Community support or advice networks such as the Euro Info Centres, and the organisation of business cooperation events.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision 2000/819/EC01.01.2001-OJ L 333 of 29.12.2000

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision 1776/2005/EC03.11.2005-OJ L 289 of 03.11.2005

RELATED ACT

Decision No 1639/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 establishing a Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007 to 2013) [OJ L 310 of 09.11.2006].

The framework programme for innovation and competitiveness (2007-2013) ensures the continuity of the multiannual programme for enterprise and entrepreneurship, in particular for small- and medium-sized enterprises (2001-2006).

Last updated: 19.01.2007
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