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European Commission - Press release

Internal Market: Commission requests Belgium to cut administrative burden on SMEs

Brussels, 27 October 2011 - The European Commission has requested Belgium to reduce administrative burdens on small and medium sized companies (SMEs) by complying with their obligation to fully implement Directive 2009/49/EC of 18 June 2009 as regards certain disclosure requirements for medium-sized companies and the obligation to draw up consolidated accounts. The Directive was due to be implemented by Member States by 1 January 2011.

The Commission's request to Belgium takes the form of a reasoned opinion, the second step of EU infringement procedures. If Belgium does not notify measures to implement the Directive within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union and could request the Court to impose financial penalties.

What is the aim of the SME reporting Directive?

Directive 2009/49/EC relieves the reporting burden imposed on SMEs by exempting them from drawing up consolidated accounts and a consolidated annual report. The Directive makes clear that when parent companies do not have material subsidiaries, they do not have to prepare twice virtually the same set of accounts.

Small and medium-sized companies are at the heart of European economic growth and job creation. Extensive reporting rules can create a disproportionate administrative and financial burden for them. The failure of Belgium to implement the Directive therefore puts its SMEs at a disadvantage compared to SMEs in other Member States.

More information

Accounting and financial reporting:

Latest information on infringement proceedings concerning all Member States:

For more information on infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/739

Contacts :

Chantal Hughes (+32 2 296 44 50)

Catherine Bunyan (+32 2 299 65 12)

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