Future economic growth is conditional to the operation of highly competitive small and medium enterprises in Europe, the representative of the Presidency stressed in the plenary meeting of the European Parliament (EP), on 10 May 2011.
The Presidency statement was read by Chief of Cabinet Péter Szoke, on behalf of Minister of State Eniko Gyori who was present, but suffering from a sore throat. The representative of the Presidency responded to a question concerning the review of the package of measures on small businesses (Small Business Act).
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), employ over 90 million people all over Europe, therefore, it is essential to create a favourable business environment for them. Small and medium enterprises contribute highly to Europe’s economy, since most enterprises belong to this category.
“The success of our competitiveness strategy depends on how our policy initiatives affect small and medium enterprises,” the representative of the Presidency pointed out. This is why the Council welcomes that on 23 February 2011, the European Commission published its communication on the review of the set of actions, which is intended to increase the sustainable growth and competitiveness of SMEs. Concerning that, the Commission submits new proposals in several fields, after consulting with competent authorities and professional organizations. The initiative of the Commission is based on the “Think Small First”principle, and is aimed to simplify the business environment for SMEs, reduce their administrative costs, simplify and accelerate the required official proceedings, improve their access to market and help them to become more competitive.
Focus on smart regulation
The Hungarian Presidency considers the review of the set of actions a priority, and in the informal meeting of the Competitiveness Council, held in Gödöllőon 13 April, the relevant communication of the Commission was discussed. The ministers unanimously supported the opinion of the Presidency that the four major issues are smart regulation, finance, internationalisation, and governance.
These priorities would primarily improve the situation of enterprises by the reduction of bureaucracy, electronic and one-stop-shop administration and appropriate legislative regulation. The aim of the presidency is that the Competitiveness Council accept the conclusions on its meeting, scheduled for 30–31 May 2011, which implements the “Think small first”principle, which was also emphasised by the Commission.
Enterprises without borders
The Presidency reported to the representatives on the progress concerning the Statute of the European Private Company. Back in 2008, the Commission made a proposal on this matter, in order to have a uniform corporate legal regulation that would facilitate for SMEs, to establish companies and perform business activities within the single market. That would save time for the enterprises and their costs would also decrease. Several Member States had expressed concerns relating to the proposal, therefore – despite the remarkable efforts of the Swedish and Belgian Presidency – no agreement has been reached on this matter. Péter Szőke reassured the representatives that the Hungarian Presidency “Will continue to do its utmost, in order to ensure the success of this matter.”