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Brussels, 27 January 2012
European SME envoys make life of small enterprises easier
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani welcomed the progress on access to credits and simplification initiatives in the Member States. At the second meeting of the Network of SME Envoys yesterday in Luxembourg, chaired by the EU SME Envoy, Mr Daniel Calleja Crespo, Member States informed about progress achieved in key areas.
This included measures to accelerate procedures to start a company, increase SMEs' access to finance, improving their participation rate in public procurement as well as in cutting red tape. For example, The Netherlands plan to adopt the Late Payment Directive by the summer and the Dutch Parliament will soon discuss a new procurement law improving access of SMEs. Sweden works on improving Venture Capital regulation. Italy has increased its Central Guarantee Fund, so that banks can easier grant credits to small enterprises. Germany reported that four out of five companies are registered within the agreed EC EU objective of 3 days for less than €100. The United Kingdom reduced the average time to start a company to 7 hours, for € 22. But the record is in Estonia where in most of cases a company can be registered within 1 hour.
The Commission presented a report on minimising regulatory burden, seeking a lighter regime especially for micro-enterprises, and SMEs in relation to future legislation. The National SME Envoys called upon the European Council to mobilise financial resources and make their access simpler for EU SMEs. They also agreed to tackle challenges for the SMEs in the areas of Better Access to Markets and Boosting Entrepreneurship in future meetings.