Brussels, 7 March 2005
Where should I register my company in Germany? What do I need to know about taxes in Slovakia? And how do I find out more about EU’s funding schemes? The new “Your Europe” portal answers these and a wealth of other questions, such as how to start up a business, and how to get access to financing and public procurement opportunities in other Member States. Enterprises wishing to trade and carry out business across the EU frequently encounter administrative requirements and have to interact with public administrations. “Your Europe” aims to provide information, help and overcome obstacles and to make life easier for businesses in the EU. It represents a first step towards European eGovernment services and assists - through a single entry point - businesses to find their way around.
Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen said: “With this initiative the Commission makes life easier for enterprises and reduces cross border administrative burdens. The new “Your Europe” portal is an important step towards EU wide eGovernment.”
Single Market Commissioner McCreevy added: «This Your Europe Website initiative will, I believe, play an important role in helping businessmen and citizens to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the Single Market in terms of jobs, starting up business, and taking advantages of public procurement opportunities. The EU belongs to its citizens and «Your Europe» helps them to use these opportunities.»
In the internal EU market businesses have to deal with many challenges. For example, when faced with the administrative procedures to register the company in another Member State and to sort out social security issues for staff, businesses can be discouraged from extending their activities to other Member States. There are many such obstacles, when it comes deciding which legal structure a new company should choose. The company has to cope with national industry and trade regulations. It needs to respect environmental, taxation and accounting standards. Businesses also need advice on bidding for public contracts in another Member State as is their right under public procurement law.
The “Your Europe” portal offers assistance over full life cycle of an enterprise providing information on the rules in all Member States (in particular registration). It provides information on taking over a business, financial and other assistance, bidding for public contracts or employment laws, social security and expatriate staff or market information.
In addition, information for EU citizens which was already available from DG Internal Market and “Services' Dialogue with Citizens” site has become part of “Your Europe” The site provides, about 1300 “national fact-sheets” with new ones on the way. Users select a sector, for example employment, consumer protection or studying in another EU country and then a more specific subject, such as “finding work”, “opening a bank account” or “higher education” and the country they are interested in. The site displays information on the law at EU level and in the Member State concerned and tips on practical steps to take. There are also links to other Commission advice and information services, such as Europe Direct (IP/03/986), Citizens’ Signpost Service (IP/02/1110), which offers free personalised advice and SOLVIT (IP/02/1110), which helps get corrections to misapplications of EU rules.
The “Your Europe” portal: