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Guides on the EU Enterprise policy for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
FIWARE makes EUR 80m available for Europe's SMEs by EUbusiness — last modified 17 September 2014, 18:25 CET
The European Commission has launched the FIWARE Accelerator Programme, enabling EUR 80 million to be awarded to SMEs, Startups and web-entrepreneurs using FIWARE Technologies. The FIWARE Accelerator is a network of European organisations which has already launched first calls for proposals earlier this month. The remaining calls were presented in Munich on 17th & 18th September on the occasion of the European Conference on Future Internet.
Industrial competitiveness - Commission reports by EUbusiness — last modified 11 September 2014, 23:10 CET
EU manufacturing possesses a number of competitive strengths that should be leveraged to promote economic growth, despite the current difficult economic environment. This is the conclusion of the two reports on industrial competitiveness released by the Commission today. However to ensure that growth does not stall, the EU and Member States urgently need to address a number of areas of concern: investment, access to finance, public administration, access to foreign markets, innovation and energy prices.
Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain by EUbusiness — last modified 15 July 2014, 22:30 CET
The European Commission adopted on 15 July a Communication encouraging EU Member States to look for ways to improve protection of small food producers and retailers against the unfair practices of their sometimes much stronger trading partners. Before a food product reaches the consumer, many different market players (producers, processors, retailers, etc.) in the supply chain add to its quality and value. Due to developments such as increased market concentration, there are very different levels of bargaining power in the relations between the players in the supply chain. Whilst differences in bargaining powers are common and legitimate in commercial relationships, these imbalances can in some cases lead to unfair trading practices (UTPs).
Green Action Plan for SMEs by EUbusiness — last modified 02 July 2014, 13:33 CET
A new Green Action Plan (GAP) for SMEs: Enabling SMEs to turn environmental challenges into business opportunities emphasises the role of green growth in ensuring a lasting economic recovery within the longer term vision of a resource-efficient and low-carbon European economy.
Interoperability as a means for modernising the public sector by EUbusiness — last modified 26 June 2014, 22:52 CET
The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a new programme that will help EU Member States to modernise their administrations and provide interoperable digital services at national and European level.
Guidelines to help EU businesses use the Cloud by EUbusiness — last modified 26 June 2014, 22:07 CET
Guidelines to help business users save money and get the most out of cloud computing services were presented to the European Commission on 26 June. Cloud computing allows individuals, businesses and the public sector to store their data and carry out data processing in remote data centres, saving on average 10-20 per cent.
EU Platform on undeclared work by EUbusiness — last modified 10 April 2014, 16:37 CET
The European Commission is proposing a new EU Platform to bring together all the various national enforcement bodies involved in the fight against undeclared work.
Single-Member Companies Directive by EUbusiness — last modified 10 April 2014, 16:20 CET
Today, SMEs face too many obstacles that hamper their economic activities within the Single Market. From the perspective of company law, they often find it costly and difficult to do business across borders. Only a small number of SMEs (2%) invest and establish subsidiaries abroad. The proposal for a Directive on single-member private limited liability companies tackles these obstacles as it would standardise requirements for the creation of companies with a single shareholder. It would remove the burdensome process of registering subsidiaries and make it easier for SMEs to operate across the EU.
Corporate governance package by EUbusiness — last modified 10 April 2014, 16:03 CET
The European Commission has today adopted measures to improve the corporate governance of around 10 000 companies listed on Europe’s stock exchanges. This would contribute to the competitiveness and long-term sustainability of these companies. Other proposals would also provide cost-efficient company law solutions for SMEs which operate across borders. The package of measures implements key actions identified in the Communication on the long-term financing of the European economy of 27 March.
Final Simplification Scoreboard - simpler EU funding rules by EUbusiness — last modified 04 March 2014, 17:52 CET
The Commission has adopted its Final Simplification Scoreboard: over 120 measures to simplify the EU funding rules for Europe's businesses, towns, regions, scientists and NGOs.
Innovation Union Scoreboard 2014 by EUbusiness — last modified 04 March 2014, 17:41 CET
Europe is closing its innovation gap with the United States and Japan but differences in performance between EU Member States are still high and diminishing only slowly. At a regional level, the innovation gap is widening, with the innovation performance having worsened in almost one fifth of EU regions. These are the main results of the European Commission's Innovation Union Scoreboard 2014 and the Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2014. The overall ranking within the EU remains relatively stable, with Sweden at the top, followed by Denmark, Germany and Finland – the four countries that invest most in research and innovation. The countries whose position has improved the most are Portugal, Estonia and Latvia. Overall progress has been driven by the openness and attractiveness of the EU research system as well as business innovation collaboration and the commercialisation of knowledge as measured by licence and patent revenues from abroad. However, growth in public R&D expenditure was offset by a decline in venture capital investment and non-R&D innovation investment in companies.
New tourism quality principles by EUbusiness — last modified 20 February 2014, 13:37 CET
The European Commission proposed on 20 February a set of voluntary European Tourism Quality Principles to ensure that tourists travelling to other EU Member States or visiting our continent from third countries will get value for their money. These principles cover four main areas: staff training under the supervision of a quality coordinator, consumer satisfaction to ensure that tourist can rely on handling of their complaints, cleanliness and maintenance, and correctness and reliability of information in at least the most relevant foreign language. Such access to reliable and up-to-date information on the quality of tourism services enables tourists to differentiate among competing products, to make an informed choice and to overcome linguistic difficulties. Small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) will find it easier to emphasize that they are providing a high quality service by sticking to the principles. The proposal will therefore help SMEs which make up over 90% of the EU tourism sector.
Challenges and opportunities of EU re-industrialisation: 2013 EU industrial structure report by EUbusiness — last modified 17 February 2014, 22:09 CET
According to a European Commission report published today on the current status of EU industry, most sectors have still not regained their pre-crisis level of output and significant differences exist between sectors and Member States. The "EU industrial structure report 2013: Competing in Global Value Chains" sheds more light on the downward trend in manufacturing. Also highlighted are the mutually beneficial links between manufacturing and services as well as the importance of global value chains. The report ultimately underlines the growing need to mainstream industrial competitiveness into other policy fields. These issues, recently highlighted by the Commission's Communication on a European Industrial Renaissance, will be directly addressed at the forthcoming Competitiveness Council meeting on 20-21 February.
Commission calls for European Industrial Renaissance by EUbusiness — last modified 22 January 2014, 18:54 CET
The European Commission is urging EU Member States to recognise the central importance of industry for creating jobs and growth, and of main-streaming industry-related competitiveness concerns across all policy areas. This is the key message of the communication 'For a European Industrial Renaissance', adopted on 22 January.
Revision of Public Procurement Directives by EUbusiness — last modified 15 January 2014, 19:56 CET
New EU rules on public procurement and concession contracts approved by the European Parliament on 15 January 2014 are expected to ensure better quality and value for money when public authorities buy or lease works, goods or services.
New rules for risk finance by EUbusiness — last modified 15 January 2014, 19:48 CET
The European Commission has adopted new guidelines setting out the conditions under which Member States can grant aid to facilitate access to finance by European SMEs and companies with a medium capitalization (the so-called "midcaps"). Certain SMEs and midcaps, in particular innovative and growth-oriented SMEs in their early development stages, have difficulties to get funding, independently of the quality of their business potential. State aid can help address this funding gap, not by replacing existing funding channels but by attracting fresh money into new ventures through well-designed financial instruments and fiscal measures. These guidelines are part of the Commission's State Aid Modernisation (SAM) strategy, which aims at fostering growth in the Single Market by encouraging more effective aid measures and focusing the Commission's scrutiny on cases with the biggest impact on competition. The guidelines will enter into force on 1 July 2014.
European SMEs getting greener - Eurobarometer no 381 by EUbusiness — last modified 18 December 2013, 19:01 CET
Compared to last year, European SMEs are becoming more resource efficient and are contributing substantially to the transition towards a low-carbon economy, according to the results of the 2013 Eurobarometer survey on "SMEs, resource efficiency and green markets" published today. For example, the survey shows that 42% of EU SMEs now have at least one full or part-time green employee - a 5% increase from 2012 which exceeds the expectations set by businesses almost two years ago.
Protection against unlawful acquisition of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) by EUbusiness — last modified 28 November 2013, 23:48 CET
The European Commission has today proposed new rules on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. The draft directive introduces a common definition of trade secrets, as well as means through which victims of trade secret misappropriation can obtain redress. It will make it easier for national courts to deal with the misappropriation of confidential business information, to remove the trade secret infringing products from the market and make it easier for victims to receive damages for illegal actions.
COSME - new programme to foster the competitiveness of SMEs by EUbusiness — last modified 21 November 2013, 23:17 CET
The European Parliament today adopted the COSME programme, a new programme for the competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). COSME aims to ease the access to credit problems that small businesses currently face. With a EUR 2.3 billion-budget over the period 2014-2020, the Programme for the Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) will for instance provide a guarantee facility for loans to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) of up to EUR 150,000. From now until 2020, 330,000 EU firms are expected to benefit from this facility. In addition, COSME will assist businesses and citizens in the following ways: 1) entrepreneurs will benefit from easier access to markets in the EU and beyond, 2) citizens who wish to become self-employed but currently face difficulties in setting up or developing their own business will receive tailored services and assistance, and 3) Member States' authorities will be better assisted in their efforts to elaborate and implement effective SME related policy reform.
REFIT - Fit for growth - making EU law lighter by EUbusiness — last modified 03 October 2013, 22:55 CET
Red tape is often accused of stifling businesses, especially the smallest ones, and of interfering too much in people's daily lives. With 74% of Europeans believing that the EU generates too much law, a European Commission Communication takes another step in ensuring that EU legislation is fit for purpose. In the Communication, the Commission sets out in a practical way, policy area by policy area, where it will take further action to simplify or withdraw EU laws, ease the burden on businesses and facilitate implementation. The Commission has also announced its intention to publish a scoreboard to track progress at European and national level in this regard.