Answer given by Mr Tajani on behalf of the Commission
Further to the European Parliament resolution referred to by the Honorable Member, in May 2011 the Commission started the implementation of the pilot project ‘Rapid and efficient enforcement of outstanding claims by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating across borders’. Consequently, the implementation was conceived through a call for tender aiming at drafting guidelines on the rapid and efficient enforcement of outstanding claims by SMEs, and a call for proposals aiming at helping SMEs to optimise their business procedures and improve their awareness of the available EU legal instruments for cross-border enforcement of claims. While the call for tender was not awarded, the call for proposal resulted in the award of 13 grants for the organisation of special seminars which will be held throughout 2012. These seminars — organised in Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia, will provide SMEs with information on credit management, claims management and the available legal instruments, especially for commercial transactions across borders within the EU. More information on these seminars can be found on the Directorate-General Enterprise and Industry website(1).
Additionally a new pilot project will be launched this year. It will include three actions: the preparation of practice-based guidelines to introduce the subject and methodology of credit and claims management, the organisation of events/seminars in all EU Member States and Croatia and the preparation of teaching modules whose content can be integrated in advanced vocational training and advanced training of young entrepreneurs.