Procedure : 2011/0394(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0420/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0420/2012

Debates :

PV 20/11/2013 - 13
CRE 20/11/2013 - 13

Votes :

PV 21/11/2013 - 8.4
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0503

REPORT     ***I
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13.12.2012
PE 489.639v03-00 A7-0420/2012

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (2014-2020)

(COM(2011)0834 – C7‑0463/2011 – 2011/0394(COD))

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

Rapporteur: Jürgen Creutzmann

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets
 OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
 OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (2014-2020)

(COM(2011)0834 – C7‑0463/2011 – 2011/0394(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0834),

–   having regard to Article 294(2) and Articles 173 and 195 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7‑0463/2011),

–   having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to the reasoned opinion submitted, within the framework of Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by the Swedish Parliament, asserting that the draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity,

–   having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee of 29 March 2012(1),

–   having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0420/2012),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Points out that the financial envelope specified in the legislative proposal constitutes only an indication to the legislative authority and that it cannot be fixed until agreement is reached on the regulation laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020;

3.  Recalls its resolution of 8 June 2011 on "Investing in the future: a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for a competitive, sustainable and inclusive Europe"1; reiterates that sufficient additional resources are needed in the next MFF in order to enable the Union to fulfil its existing policy priorities and the new tasks provided for in the Treaty of Lisbon, as well as to respond to unforeseen events; challenges the Council, if it does not share this approach, to clearly identify which of its political priorities or projects could be dropped altogether, despite their proven European added value; points out that even with an increase in the level of resources for the next MFF of at least 5% compared to the 2013 level, only a limited contribution can be made to the achievement of the Union's agreed objectives and commitments and the principle of Union solidarity.

4.  Reaffirms the position of its resolution of 8 June 2011 that enhanced support should be given in the next MFF for all programmes and instruments aimed at fostering SMEs, in particular this Programme and the Small Business Act;

5.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

6.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) The Commission adopted the Communication ‘Europe 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ in March 2010 (hereinafter ‘the Europe 2020 Strategy’). The Communication was endorsed by the European Council of June 2010. The Europe 2020 Strategy responds to the economic crisis and is intended to prepare Europe for the next decade. It sets five ambitious objectives on climate and energy, employment, innovation, education and social inclusion to be reached by 2020 and identifies key drivers for growth, which aim at making Europe more dynamic and competitive. It also emphasises the importance of reinforcing the growth of the European economy while delivering high levels of employment, a low carbon, resource and energy-efficient economy and social cohesion.

(1) The Commission adopted the Communication ‘Europe 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ in March 2010 (hereinafter ‘the Europe 2020 Strategy’). The Communication was endorsed by the European Council of June 2010. The Europe 2020 Strategy responds to the economic crisis and is intended to prepare Europe for the next decade. It sets five ambitious objectives on climate and energy, employment, innovation, education and social inclusion to be reached by 2020 and identifies key drivers for growth, which aim at making Europe more dynamic and competitive. It also emphasises the importance of reinforcing the growth of the European economy while delivering high levels of employment, a low carbon, resource and energy-efficient economy and social cohesion. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should play a crucial role in reaching the Europe 2020 objectives. Their role is reflected by the fact that SMEs are mentioned in six out of seven of its flagship initiatives.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) In order to ensure that enterprises play a central role in delivering economic growth in Europe, the Commission adopted a Communication, entitled An Integrated industrial policy for the globalization era, putting competitiveness and sustainability at centre stage12 in October 2010, which was endorsed by the European Council on its Conclusions of December 2010. This is a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Communication sets out a strategy that aims to boost growth and jobs by maintaining and supporting a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe, notably through improving framework conditions for enterprises, as well as through strengthening several aspects of the Single Market, including business-related services.

(2) In order to ensure that enterprises play a central role in delivering economic growth in Europe, which is a top priority, the Commission adopted a Communication, entitled 'An Integrated industrial policy for the globalization era, putting competitiveness and sustainability at centre stage'12 in October 2010, which was endorsed by the European Council on its Conclusions of December 2010. This is a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Communication sets out a strategy that aims to boost growth and jobs by maintaining and supporting a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe, notably through improving framework conditions for enterprises, as well as through strengthening several aspects of the Single Market, including business-related services.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3a) The 'gaps', fragmentation and unnecessary red tape within the Single Market impede citizens, consumers and enterprises, particularly SMEs, from reaping its full benefits. Many SMEs, for example, face continuing difficulties when trying to trade across borders. Therefore a concerted effort on the part of the Commission, the European Parliament and Member States to address the implementation, legislative and information shortcomings is acutely necessary. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, the Commission and the Member States should also collaborate to reduce excessive administrative, financial and regulatory burdens on SMEs.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) In order to contribute to the reinforcement of competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, in particular SMEs, the advancement of the knowledge society, and development based on balanced economic growth, a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (hereinafter ‘the Programme’) should be established.

(6) In order to contribute to the reinforcement of competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, in particular SMEs, to support existing SMEs, to encourage an entrepreneurial culture and to promote the creation and growth of SMEs, a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (hereinafter ‘the Programme’) should be established. Without overlapping programmes at Member State level, the Programme should be specifically easily accessible for all SMEs, particularly small enterprises and micro-entities.

Justification

COSME should prioritise support to existing SMEs

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6a) The spending of Union and Member States’ funds on the promotion of the competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs should be better coordinated in order to assure complementarity, better efficiency and visibility, as well as to achieve better budgetary synergies. The financial envelope of the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME programme) should not be less in real terms than the appropriations allocated to the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP programme).

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6b) In order to be able to fulfil its objectives and support the implementation of the Small Business Act, at least 0.5% of the total budget of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 should be allocated to the implementation of th Programme.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) The competitiveness policy of the Union is intended to put into place the institutional and policy arrangements that create conditions under which enterprises can grow in a sustainable way. Improved productivity is the dominant source of sustainable income growth, which in turn contributes to improvements in living standards. Competitiveness also depends on companies' ability to take full advantage of opportunities such as the European Single Market. This is especially important for SMEs, which account for 99% of the enterprises in the Union, provide two out of three existing jobs in the private sector, and 80 % of newly-created jobs, and contribute with more than half of the total value-added created by enterprises in the Union. SMEs are a key driver for economic growth, employment and social integration.

(8) The competitiveness policy of the Union is intended to put into place the institutional and policy arrangements that create conditions under which enterprises can be created and grow in a sustainable way. Achieving competitiveness and sustainability entails the ability to attain and maintain the economic competitiveness of enterprises in accordance with sustainable development objectives. Improved productivity, in particular resource and energy productivity, is the dominant source of sustainable growth, which in turn contributes to improvements in living standards. Competitiveness also depends on companies' ability to take full advantage of opportunities such as the European Single Market. This is especially important for SMEs, which account for 99% of the enterprises in the Union, provide two out of three existing jobs in the private sector, and 80 % of newly-created jobs, and contribute with more than half of the total value-added created by enterprises in the Union. SMEs are a key driver for economic growth, employment and social integration.

Justification

Modification of amendment 3 (draft report): Replaced "industry" with "enterprises", as this includes enterprises of all economic sectors.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(8a) The Commission Communication "Towards a rich job recovery"1 estimated that policies promoting a transition to a green economy such as resource efficiency, energy efficiency, and climate change policies could generate more than five million jobs by 2020 and in particular in the SMEs sector. Its survey underlines the fact that job creation in eco-industries has been positive throughout the recession in comparison to many other sectors and is forecast to continue to remain sound in future years. EU level initiatives enabling the exploitation of the employment potential of green growth, in particular within SMEs, should be part of this Programme.

 

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1 COM(2012)0173 final

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) Competitiveness has been put under the spotlight of Union policy-making in recent years because of the market, policy and institutional failures that are undermining the competitiveness of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs.

(9) Competitiveness has been put under the spotlight of Union policy-making in recent years because of the market, policy and institutional failures that are undermining the competitiveness of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, which, to be set up, still have to face excessive administrative burdens.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) The Programme should therefore address market failures affecting the competitiveness of the Union economy on a global scale due principally to issues which undermine the capacity of enterprises to compete with their counterparts in other parts of the world.

(10) The Programme should therefore address market failures affecting the competitiveness of the Union economy on a global scale, due principally to issues which undermine the capacity of enterprises to compete with their counterparts in other parts of the world, favour the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy priorities, such as innovation, the green economy and the recruitment of young people, apply the principles of the 'Small Business Act' (SBA), ensure coordination with the remaining European programmes, take account of the needs of SMEs and simplify and reduce the administrative burdens they face. These failures include those connected with the absence of reciprocity between the EU and its competitors in conditions for access to their markets.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(10a) The amounts of the fines imposed by the Commission on undertakings for not respecting EU competition law should be allocated to the Programme in excess of its financial envelope.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11) The Programme should particularly address SMEs, as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Particular attention should be paid to micro enterprises, enterprises engaged in craft activities and social enterprises. Attention should also be paid to the specific characteristics and requirements of young entrepreneurs, new and potential entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs, as well as specific target groups, such as migrants and entrepreneurs belonging to socially disadvantaged or vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities. The Programme should also encourage senior citizens to become and remain entrepreneurs and promote second chances for entrepreneurs.

(11) The Programme should particularly address SMEs, as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. In the application of this Regulation, the Commission should consult all relevant stakeholders. Particular attention should be paid to micro enterprises, enterprises engaged in craft activities, the self-employed, the liberal professions and social enterprises in any sector of activity. Attention should also be paid to the characteristics and requirements of young entrepreneurs, new and potential entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs, as well as specific target groups, such as migrants and entrepreneurs belonging to socially disadvantaged or vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities. The Programme should also encourage senior citizens to become and remain entrepreneurs and promote second chances for entrepreneurs.

Justification

The Programme should concentrate its limited resources on the most relevant categories of entrepreneurs. Second chance policy is mentioned below in Recital 16 (as amended).

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11a) Following the four priorities of the SBA review, in its specific objectives the Programme should seek to improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, in particular SMEs, to promote entrepreneurship, to increase access to finance and to markets in the Union and globally. Actions under the specific objectives of the Programme should contribute to the implementation of the SBA.

Justification

The Programme should concentrate its limited resources on the most relevant categories of entrepreneurs.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11b) The clustering of SMEs is a key instrument by which to strengthen their capacity to innovate and to begin operating on overseas markets. Forms of cooperation among enterprises, such as clusters, networks of firms and export consortia should be adequately supported by means of appropriate policies and instruments.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11c) Female entrepreneurship and female SMEs provide a key source for increasing the degree of female employment and thereby capitalising to a greater extent on women's level of education. Female entrepreneurship also ensures business dynamism and innovation, the potential of which is far from being harnessed in the Union, with an increase in the number of women entrepreneurs resulting in a positive impact and an immediate contribution to the economy overall. Women are particularly highly motivated in self-employment because running their own businesses enables them to set their own working hours and thus to reconcile work and family life better. In an unstable economic climate measures to support female entrepreneurs are easily neglected.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) Many of the Union's competitiveness problems involve SMEs' difficulties in getting access to finance because they struggle to demonstrate their credit-worthiness and have difficulties in gaining access to risk capital. This has a negative effect on the level and quality of the new enterprises created and on the growth of enterprises. The added value for the Union of the proposed financial instruments lies inter alia in strengthening the Single Market for venture capital and in developing a pan-European SME finance market. The Union's actions should be complementary to the Member States' use of financial instruments for SMEs. The entities entrusted with the implementation of the actions should ensure additionality and avoid double financing through EU resources.

(12) Many of the Union's competitiveness problems involve SMEs' difficulties in getting access to finance because they struggle to demonstrate their credit-worthiness and have difficulties in gaining access to risk capital. This has a negative effect on the level and quality of the new enterprises created and on the growth and survival rate of enterprises, as well as the readiness of new entrepreneurs to take over viable companies in the context of a transfer of business/succession. EU financial instruments put in place in 2007-2013, in particular SMEG, have a proven added value and have brought a positive contribution to at least 120 000 SMEs, contributing to maintaining 851 000 jobs since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008. The enhanced added value for the Union of the proposed financial instruments lies inter alia in strengthening the Single Market for venture capital and in developing a simplified and more transparent pan-European SME finance market and in addressing market failures that cannot be addressed by Member States. The Union's actions should be coherent, consistent and complementary to the Member States' use of financial instruments for SMEs and Member States should do their utmost to increase the visibility and accessibility of such instruments on their territory. The entities entrusted with the implementation of the actions should ensure additionality and avoid double financing through EU resources. The Programme should promote access to finance for SMEs in their start-up, growth and transfer phases. Additionally, increasing access to affordable banking services for small and micro entities in multiple jurisdictions and currencies will be key to developing export growth.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12a) Surveys also show that not only access to finance but also access to skills, including managerial skills and knowledge are critical factors for SMEs to access existing funds, to innovate, compete and grow. The delivery of financial instruments should therefore be accompanied by development of appropriate mentoring, coaching schemes and delivery of knowledge-based business services.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12b) Micro-lending (that is to say loans below EUR 25 000) is provided by the financial intermediaries under the guarantee scheme. There is no provision for a specific micro-lending window under the Programme, as it would constitute an overlap with the "Programme for Social Change and Innovation" proposed by the Commission on 6 October 2011, which specifically covers micro-lending.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12c) An initiative should also be launched to assess how innovative financing initiatives such as crowd funding could benefit new entrepreneurs and SMEs, if and how they should be promoted at EU level and to evaluate whether there is a need for a legal framework for framing such practices.

Justification

Crowdfunding allows for a wider pool of smaller investors to invest in projects and small businesses, usually through internet portals. In the United States, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act or JOBS Act, was adopted intending to encourage funding of small businesses and providing for a legal framework for crowdfunding, balancing investor protection with the promotion of economic growth.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) The Enterprise Europe Network has proven its added value for European SMEs as a onestop- shop for business support by helping enterprises to improve their competitiveness and explore business opportunities in the Single Market and beyond. The streamlining of methodologies and working methods and provisions of a European dimension to business support services can only be achieved at Union level. In particular, the Network has helped SMEs to find cooperation or technology transfer partners, get advice on sources of financing, and on intellectual property and on eco-innovation and sustainable production. It has also obtained feedback on Union legislation and standards. Its unique expertise is particularly important in overcoming information asymmetries and alleviating transaction costs associated with cross-border transactions.

(13) The Enterprise Europe Network ("the Network") has proven its added value for European SMEs as a one-stop-shop for business support services by helping enterprises to improve their competitiveness and explore business opportunities in the Single Market and third countries. The streamlining of methodologies and working methods and provisions of a European dimension to business support services can only be achieved at Union level. In particular, the Network has helped SMEs to find cooperation or technology transfer partners in the Single Market and third countries, get advice on sources of financing, and on intellectual property and on eco-innovation and sustainable production. It has also obtained feedback on Union legislation and standards. Its unique expertise is particularly important in overcoming information asymmetries and alleviating transaction costs associated with cross-border transactions. Nevertheless, the performance of the Network should be further optimised, in particular with regard to SMEs' take-up of the services proposed, notably by achieving closer cooperation between the Network and the National Contact Points (NCPs) of Horizon 2020, further integrating internationalisation and innovation services, enhancing cooperation of the Network with other stakeholders and existing support structures, increasing consultations of host organisations, reducing bureaucracy, improving IT support, enhancing the profile of the Network and improving the Network's geographical coverage. With a view to further improving the performance of the Network, the Commission should take stock of the different governance structures across the EU and facilitate collaboration between the Network and relevant stakeholders such as organisations representing SMEs and innovation agencies. The tasks of the Network should be laid down in the Programme, including information, feedback, business cooperation and internationalisation services in the Single Market and in third countries, innovation services and services encouraging participation of SMEs in Horizon 2020, building on the successful experience with the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14) The limited internationalisation of SMEs both within and outside Europe affects competitiveness. According to some estimates currently 25% of the SMEs in the Union export or have exported at some point over the last three years, of which only 13% export outside the Union on a regular basis and only 2 % have invested beyond their home country. In line with the Small Business Act, which called on the Union and the Member States to support and encourage SMEs to benefit from the growth of markets outside the Union, the EU supports a network of European Business Organisations in more than 20 markets abroad. It provides financial assistance to the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, business bodies in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore as well as the European Business and Technology Centre in India, EU SME Centres in China and in Thailand and the China Intellectual Property Rights SME helpdesk. European added value is created by bundling national efforts in this domain, avoiding duplication, promoting cooperation and by offering services that would lack critical mass if provided at national level.

(14) The limited internationalisation of SMEs both within and outside Europe affects competitiveness. According to some estimates currently 25% of the SMEs in the Union export or have exported at some point over the last three years, of which only 13% export outside the Union on a regular basis and only 2 % have invested beyond their home country. In addition, the Eurobarometer survey of 2012 shows the untapped potential for SMEs' growth in Green markets, within and outside the Union, in terms of internationalisation and access to public procurement. In line with the Small Business Act, which called on the Union and the Member States to support and encourage SMEs to benefit from the growth of markets outside the Union, the EU supports a network of European Business Organisations in more than 20 markets abroad. It provides financial assistance to the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, business bodies in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore as well as the European Business and Technology Centre in India, EU SME Centres in China and in Thailand and the China Intellectual Property Rights SME helpdesk. European added value is created by bundling national efforts in this domain, avoiding duplication, promoting cooperation and by offering services that would lack critical mass if provided at national level. Such services should include information on intellectual property rights, standards and public procurement rules and opportunities.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) To improve the competitiveness of European enterprises, notably SMEs, the Member States and the Commission need to create a favourable business environment. The interests of SMEs and the sectors in which they are most active need particular attention. Initiatives at Union level are necessary in order to develop a level playing field for SMEs and to exchange information and knowledge on a European scale.

(15) To improve the competitiveness of European enterprises, notably SMEs, the Member States and the Commission need to create a favourable business environment in accordance with the principles of the SBA, in particular the Think Small First principle. Initiatives at Union level are necessary in order to develop a level playing field for SMEs and to exchange information and knowledge on a European scale. The Commission should consult all relevant stakeholders, including organisations representing the interests of SMEs.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(15a) The Programme should also support SME policy development and cooperation between policy makers and organisations representing SMEs. Such activities should focus on facilitating SMEs' access to programmes and reducing overall administrative burdens, including where they arise from regulation. This issue should be addressed as a process which involves broad consultation of SMEs and appropriate expert groups, with the aim of promoting simplification and better regulation while ensuring a level playing field in the Single Market and consistency with other public policy objectives. Existing structures such as the SME envoy network should be used to the greatest extent possible. COSME should contribute to these objectives and to Union efforts to establish a regular scoreboard on the reduction of administrative burden. The scoreboard should measure the impact of relevant EU regulation on the framework conditions for enterprises, particularly SMEs. This action should contribute to the Commission's broader strategy to reduce administrative burden in a measurable way, based on the development of appropriate indicators and methodologies.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(15b) A favourable business environment for Union enterprises should be achieved through measures to improve the design, implementation and evaluation of policies and measures to encourage cooperation in policy-making and exchange of good practices. Such measures could include studies, impact assessments, evaluations and conferences.

(See Article 6 (2 a, b))

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(15c) In order to further improve the competitiveness of European enterprises, the European public procurement market shall be easily accessible to SMEs. In order to achieve both cost-cutting and increased participation of SMEs, the use of e-procurement should be encouraged in accordance with the Commission Communication "A Strategy for e-procurement"1 and the Directive on "Public Procurement"2.

 

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1 COM(2012)0179

 

2 COM(2011)0896

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(15d) The proper implementation, enforcement and monitoring of Alternative Dispute Resolution for consumer disputes by the Commission and the Member States would make resolving disputes quicker, cheaper and less bureaucratic for both consumers and traders, and therefore encourage SMEs to more fully participate in the Single Market and increase their competitiveness.

Amendment              27

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15 e (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(15e) As electronic identification is a key element in European commerce, the mutual recognition and interoperability of e-identification, e-authentication, eSignature and Private Key Infrastructure (PKI) should be promoted, to ensure an efficient use of these resources.

Justification

These e-government measures are particularly beneficial for SMEs who face serious burdens in the area of cross-border trade.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15 f (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(15f) The Programme may also support initiatives accelerating the emergence of competitive and sustainable industries, based on the most competitive business models, improved products and processes, organisational structures or modified value chains. Whilst the Programme should focus on cross-sectoral initiatives, it may also support sector-specific initiatives in sectors where SMEs are most active and which contribute significantly to the Union's GDP, such as tourism, where value added at Union level can be demonstrated.

(See amendment for Article 6 (3))

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15 g (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(15g) Pursuant to the Commission Communication "Reaping the benefits of electronic invoicing for Europe"1, e-invoicing is a key tool in the hands of European businesses to reduce the cost of invoicing and increase their efficiency. E-invoicing has other benefits such as increased efficiency, shorter payment times, fewer errors, better collection of VAT and lower costs.

 

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1 COM(2010)0712

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) Another factor which affects competitiveness is the relatively weak entrepreneurial spirit in the Union. Only 45% of the Union citizens (and less than 40% of women) would like to be self-employed as compared to 55% of the population in the United States and 71% in China. Demonstration and catalytic effects, for example European Awards and conferences, as well as coherence and consistency enhancing measures such as benchmarking and exchanges of best practices provide a high European added value.

(16) Another factor which affects competitiveness is the relatively weak entrepreneurial spirit in the Union. Only 45% of the Union citizens (and less than 40% of women) would like to be self-employed as compared to 55% of the population in the United States and 71% in China. According to the SBA, a business environment favourable to entrepreneurship must provide good framework conditions for all situations that entrepreneurs face, including start-up, growth, transfer and bankruptcy (second chance). Coherence and consistency enhancing measures such as benchmarking and exchanges of best practices provide a high European added value.

(See amendment for Article 7)

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(16a) SMEs are often prevented from accessing public procurement markets by excessive administrative burdens in calls for tender. The Commission and Member States should simplify these requirements in order to boost competitiveness and create a level playing field for SMEs.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) Global competition, demographic changes, resource constraints and emerging social trends generate challenges and opportunities for some sectors. For example, design-based sectors facing global challenges and characterised by a high proportion of SMEs need to adapt to reap the benefits and harness the untapped potential of high demand for personalised, inclusive products. As these challenges apply to all SMEs in the Union in these sectors, a concerted effort at Union level is necessary.

(17) Global competition, demographic changes, resource constraints and emerging social trends generate challenges and opportunities for many sectors facing global challenges and characterised by a high proportion of SMEs. For example, design-based sectors need to adapt to benefit from the untapped potential of high demand for personalised, inclusive products. Design-based consumer goods represent an important economic sector in the Union and its enterprises contribute substantially to growth and jobs. As these challenges apply to all SMEs in the Union in these sectors, a concerted effort at Union level is necessary in order to create additional growth.

Justification

Design-based consumer goods represent an important economic sector in the Union and its enterprises contribute substantially to growth and jobs. Therefore, the programme should support enterprises in this sector, which is at the same time characterised by a high proportion of SMEs.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(17a) The Programme should also support specific activities to implement the Small Business Act initiative aiming at raising SMEs' awareness of environmental and energy-related issues and to assist them in implementing legislation, assessing their environmental and energy performance and upgrading their skills and qualifications.

Justification

Principle 9 set out in the Small Business Act (SBA): "Enable SMEs to turn environmental challenges into opportunities".

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18) As outlined in the Commission Communication of 30 June 2010, entitled "Europe, the world's No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe", which was endorsed by the European Council Conclusions of October 2010, tourism is an important sector of the Union economy. Enterprises in this sector substantially contribute to the Union's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and job creation and have significant potential for the development of entrepreneurial activity, since it is run mainly by SMEs. The Lisbon Treaty acknowledges the importance of tourism outlining the Union specific competences in this field which complement the actions of Member States. There is clear added value for the tourism initiative at Union level, especially in providing data and analysis, in developing transnational promotion strategies and in exchanging best practices.

(18) As outlined in the Commission Communication of 30 June 2010, entitled ‘Europe, the world's No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe’, which was endorsed by the European Council Conclusions of October 2010, tourism is an important sector of the Union economy. Enterprises in this sector substantially contribute to the Union's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and job creation and have significant potential for the development of entrepreneurial activity, since it is run mainly by SMEs. The Lisbon Treaty acknowledges the importance of tourism outlining the Union specific competences in this field which complement the actions of Member States. The Programme should support initiatives with clear European added value in the field of tourism - which contributes 10% of Union GDP and 12% of total employment - especially in providing data and analysis, in developing a common approach to the provision of quality services and in facilitating transnational cooperation and exchanges of best practices.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(18a) In addition to the measures covered by the work programme, the Commission should regularly adopt support measures to promote the competitiveness of Union enterprises. Besides policy analysis and development, such measures should notably include impact assessments of Union measures of particular relevance for the competitiveness of enterprises, in particular SMEs. Impact assessments should address the impact of a policy proposal on the competitiveness of enterprises through its effects on the cost of doing business, on the affected sectors' capacity to innovate and on their international competitiveness ("competitiveness-proofing"). Impact assessments should also include a separate section on SMEs, consisting of a preliminary assessment of businesses likely to be affected, measurement of the impact on SMEs (cost/benefit analysis) and mitigating measures, if appropriate ("SME test"). The SME test should pay particular attention to micro-enterprises.

(See amendment for Article 11 (1c))

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(18b) The Union is the world's No 1 tourist destination in terms of international arrivals, and this lead position must be reinforced by tackling the challenges created by, first, greater global competition and a market demand that is continually changing and secondly, the need to ensure increased and more lasting sustainability.

Justification

See above

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(19) The Programme should indicate actions for the objectives, the total financial envelope for pursuing those objectives, different types of implementing measures, and the arrangements for monitoring and evaluation and for protection of the Union's financial interests.

(19) The Programme should indicate actions for the objectives, the total financial envelope for pursuing those objectives, different types of implementing measures, and the transparent arrangements for monitoring and evaluation and for protection of the Union's financial interests.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(20) The Programme should complement other Union programmes, while acknowledging that each instrument should work according to its own specific procedures. Thus, the same eligible costs should not receive double funding. With the aim to achieve added value and substantial impact of Union funding, close synergies should be developed between the Programme, other Union programmes and the Structural Funds.

(20) The Programme should complement other Union programmes, while acknowledging that each instrument should work according to its own specific procedures. Thus, the same eligible costs should not receive double funding. With the aim to achieve added value and substantial impact of Union funding, close synergies should be developed between the Programme, other Union programmes, in particular Horizon 2020 and the Structural Funds. These synergies may also build on the bottom-up national and regional experience of Eureka and Eurostars in supporting SME innovation and research activities.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(20a) It is important to maximise the impact of the Programme by mobilising, pooling and leveraging public and private financial resources.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(21a) The decisions to grant an SME financial support should be preceded by a transparent process. The grant of such support and its payment should be transparent, unbureaucratic and in accordance with common rules.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21b) The Programme should aim to facilitate access to technical, scientific, business and support networks, and should provide appropriate guidance on training, support programmes and mentoring schemes to all interested in starting up an SME - especially to young people and women - with the aim of developing entrepreneurial skills, knowledge, spirit and confidence.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(23a) The Programme should ensure the utmost transparency, accountability and democratic scrutiny of innovative financial instruments and mechanisms that involve the Union budget, especially as regards their contribution, both expected and achieved, to reaching Union objectives.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 24

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(24) The Agreement on the European Economic Area and Protocols to Association Agreements provide for the participation of the countries concerned in Union programmes. Participation by other third countries should be possible when Agreements and procedures so indicate.

(24) The Agreement on the European Economic Area and Protocols to Association Agreements provide for the participation of the countries concerned in Union programmes. Participation by other third countries should be possible when Agreements and procedures so indicate. Participation in the Programme should also be open to entities established in other third countries, but they should in principle not receive financial contributions from the Union.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 24 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(24a) It is important to ensure sound financial management of the Programme and its implementation in the most effective and user-friendly manner possible, while also ensuring legal certainty and the accessibility of the programme to all participants.

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25) The Programme should be monitored and evaluated so as to allow for adjustments.

(25) The Programme should be monitored and evaluated so as to allow for adjustments. A yearly report on its implementation should be made, presenting progress achieved and planned activities. It should be presented to the European Parliament's competent committee.

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(25a) The implementation of the Programme should be monitored annually with the aid of key indicators for assessing results and impacts. These indicators, including relevant baselines, should provide the minimum basis for assessing the extent to which the objectives of the programmes have been achieved.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 1a

 

Definition

 

For the purposes of this Regulation "SME" shall mean micro, small and medium sized enterprises, as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises1.

 

_______________

 

1 OJ L 124, 20.5.2003, p. 36.

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Programme shall contribute to the following general objectives, paying particular attention to the specific needs of SMEs at European and global level:

1. The Programme shall contribute to the following general objectives, paying particular attention to the specific needs of European SMEs:

(a) strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union’s enterprises including in the tourism sector;

(a) strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union’s enterprises, in particular SMEs;

(b) encouraging an entrepreneurial culture and promoting the creation and growth of SMEs.

(b) encouraging entrepreneurial culture and promoting the creation and growth of SMEs.

2. The achievement of the objectives referred to in paragraph 1 shall be measured by the following indicators:

2. The achievement of the objectives referred to in paragraph 1 shall be measured by the following indicators:

(a) percentage of growth of the Union's industrial sector in relation to total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth,

(a) percentage of growth of the Union's industrial and services sectors in relation to total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth,

 

(aa) changes in administrative burdens on both new and existing SMEs,

(b) Union manufacturing output growth in eco-industries,

(b) SME growth in terms of added value, including in eco-industries,

 

(ba) changes in the SME employment rate

(c) changes in administrative burden on SMEs

(c) changes in the proportion of citizens who wish to be self-employed.

(d) SME growth in terms of added-value and number of employees,

 

(e) and SME turnover rate.

 

 

2a. Details of measurement and performance targets for indicators referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article are set out in Annex I.

3. The Programme shall support the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy and shall contribute to achieving the objective of “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”. In particular, the Programme shall contribute to the headline target concerning employment.

3. The Programme shall support the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy and shall contribute to achieving the objective of “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”. In particular, the Programme shall contribute to the headline target concerning employment.

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The specific objectives of the Programme shall be:

1. The specific objectives of the Programme shall be:

(a) To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises including in the tourism sector;

(a) To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs including in the tourism sector;

 

(aa) To improve access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt;

(b) To promote entrepreneurship, including among specific target groups;

(b) To promote entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture, including among specific target groups;

(c) To improve access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt;

 

(d) To improve access to markets inside the Union and globally.

(d) To improve access to markets inside the Union but also at global level,

 

1a. The actions under the specific objectives shall contribute to the implementation of the Think Small First principle as laid down in the Commission communication "A Small Business Act for Europe" from 25 June 2008.

2. The need of enterprises to adapt to a low-carbon, climate-resilient, energy and resourceefficient economy shall be promoted in the implementation of the Programme.

2. The need of enterprises to adapt to a low-carbon, climate-resilient, energy and resource-efficient economy shall be promoted in the implementation of the Programme.

3. To measure the impact of the Programme in achieving the specific objectives referred to in paragraph 1, performance indicators shall be used. Those indicators are set out in Annex I.

3. To measure the impact of the Programme in achieving the specific objectives referred to in paragraph 1, performance indicators shall be used. Those indicators are set out in Annex I.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The financial envelope for implementing the Programme shall be EUR 2.522 billion, of which approximately EUR 1.4 billion shall be allocated to financial instruments.

1. The financial envelope for implementing the Programme shall be EUR [2.522 billion], of which at least 60% shall be allocated to financial instruments. The Commission may decide, by means of delegated acts, to increase the share allocated to financial instruments in the event of significant demand/supply imbalances or should additional funds from other sources become available.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The financial envelope established under this Regulation may also cover expenses pertaining to preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities which are required for the management of the Programme and the achievement of its objectives; in particular, studies, meetings of experts, information and communication actions, including corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union as far as they are related to the general objectives of the Programme, expenses linked to IT networks focusing on information processing and exchange, together with all other technical and administrative assistance expenses incurred by the Commission for the management of the Programme.

2. The financial envelope established under this Regulation may also cover expenses pertaining to preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities which are required for the management of the Programme and the achievement of its objectives, in particular:

 

-studies,

 

-meetings of experts,

 

-information and communication actions, including corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union as far as they are related to the general objectives of the Programme,

 

-expenses linked to IT networks focusing on information processing and exchange,

 

-other technical and administrative assistance expenses incurred by the Commission for the management of the Programme. These expenses shall not exceed 5% of the value of the financial envelope.

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point -a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(-a) The overseas countries and territories referred to in Council Decision 2001/822/EC of 27 November 2001 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Community (Overseas Association Decision)1;

 

_______________

 

1 OJ L 314, 30.11.2001, p. 1.

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Entities established in countries referred to in paragraph 1, in case the conditions established in that paragraph are not fulfilled or when those countries decide not to join the Programme, or entities established in other third countries may participate in actions under the Programme.

2. An entity established in a country referred to in paragraph 1 may participate in parts of the Programme where that country participates under the conditions laid out in the respective agreements described in paragraph 1.

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Such entities shall not be entitled to receive Union financial contributions, except where it is indispensable for the Programme, in particular in terms of competitiveness and access to markets for Union enterprises. That exception shall not apply to entities which are profit-making.

deleted

(See Article 5 a (new))

Amendment  55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 5a

 

Participation of entities of non-participating countries

 

1. In parts of the Programme in which a country referred to in Article 5 does not participate, entities established in that country may participate. Entities established in other third countries may also participate in actions under the Programme.

 

2. Entities referred to in paragraph 1 shall not be entitled to receive Union financial contributions, except where it is essential for the Programme, in particular in terms of competitiveness and access to markets for Union enterprises. That exception shall not apply to profit-making entities.

(See Article 5 paragraph 2)

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Actions to improve the framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises

Actions to improve the framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs

Amendment  57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall support actions to improve and strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, so as to enhance the effectiveness, coherence and consistency of national policies promoting competitiveness, sustainability and the growth of enterprises in Europe.

1. The Commission shall support actions to improve the framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, so as to enhance the effectiveness, coherence and consistency of national and regional policies promoting competitiveness, sustainability and growth of enterprises in Europe, with a specific focus on enterprises with a high rate of potential growth.

2. The Commission may support actions intended to develop new competitiveness strategies. Such actions may include the following:

2. The Commission may support actions intended to develop new competitiveness and business development strategies. Such actions may include the following:

(a) measures to improve the design, implementation and evaluation of policies affecting the competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises, including disaster resilience, and to secure the development of appropriate infrastructures, world class clusters and business networks, framework conditions and development of sustainable products, services and processes;

(a) measures to improve the design, implementation and evaluation of policies affecting the competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises and to support business networks, the transnational operation and collaboration of clusters and the development of sustainable products, technologies, services and processes;

 

(aa) measures to improve framework conditions for enterprises, in particular, through a reduction in administrative burdens. Such measures may include, amongst others:

 

- support for the establishment of a regular scoreboard measuring the impact of relevant EU regulation on the framework conditions for enterprises, particularly SMEs,

 

- establishment of, or support for, an independent expert group to advise the Commission on reducing administrative burdens and simplification of Union regulation,

 

- information and exchange of best practices relating to the systematic application of the SME test in the transposition of Union legislation into national law;

(b) measures to encourage cooperation in policy making and exchange of good practices among the Member States, other countries participating in the Programme and the Union's main competitors, and to address international aspects of competitiveness policies.

(b) measures to encourage cooperation in policy making and exchange of good practices among the Member States, other countries participating in the Programme and the Union's main global trading partners, and to address international aspects of competitiveness policies;

(c) support for SME policy development and cooperation between policy makers, particularly with a view to improving the ease-of-access to programmes and measures for SMEs.

(c) support for evidence-based SME policy development and cooperation between policy makers and with organisations representing SMEs, particularly with a view to improving the ease-of-access to programmes at Union, national and regional level, including Horizon 2020 and Structural Funds, and to support measures for SMEs;

3. The Commission may support initiatives accelerating the emergence of competitive industries based on cross-sectoral activities in areas characterised by a high proportion of SMEs and with a high contribution to the Union's GDP. Such initiatives shall stimulate development of new markets and the supply of goods and services based on the most competitive business models or on modified value-chains. They shall include initiatives to enhance productivity, resource efficiency, sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

3. The Commission may support initiatives accelerating the emergence of competitive industries based, where appropriate, on cross-sectoral activities in areas characterised by a high proportion of SMEs and with a high contribution to the Union's GDP. Such initiatives shall stimulate development of new markets and the take-up of new business models as well as the commercial use of relevant ideas for new products and services. They shall include initiatives to enhance productivity, resource and energy efficiency, sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

 

3a. The Commission may also support sector-specific activities for these purposes, in areas characterised by a high proportion of SMEs and with a high contribution to the Union's GDP, such as the tourism sector.

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall contribute to promoting entrepreneurship by improving framework conditions affecting the development of entrepreneurship. The Commission shall support a business environment favourable to enterprise development and growth.

1. The Commission shall contribute to promoting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture by reducing obstacles to the setting-up of enterprises and improving framework conditions affecting the development of entrepreneurship. The Commission shall support a business environment favourable to sustainable enterprise start-ups, development, growth, business transfer and second chance.

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

An “Erasmus for young entrepreneurs” action shall be established with the objective of developing entrepreneurial skills and attitudes.

Amendment  60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission may support Member States' measures to build-up entrepreneurial education, skills and attitudes, in particular among potential and new entrepreneurs.

3. The Commission may support Member States' measures to build-up entrepreneurial education, skills, mindsets and attitudes, in particular in education and training as well as among potential and new entrepreneurs.

Amendment  61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a. The Commission may take measures to strengthen the education of possible entrepreneurs provided by Lifelong learning or Erasmus for All programmes, particularly Erasmus for young entrepreneurs, in order to improve their technological capacity and enterprise management.

Amendment  62

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall support actions which aim to improve access to finance for SMEs in their start-up and growth phases, being complementary to the Member States' use of financial instruments for SMEs at national and regional level. In order to ensure complementarity, these actions will be closely coordinated with those undertaken in the framework of cohesion policy and at national level. Such actions shall aim to stimulate the supply of both equity and debt finance.

1. The Commission shall support actions which aim to facilitate and improve access to finance for SMEs in their start-up, growth and transfer phases, being complementary to the Member States' use of financial instruments for SMEs at national and regional level. In order to ensure complementarity, these actions will be closely coordinated with those undertaken in the framework of cohesion policy, Horizon 2020 and at national or regional level. Such actions shall aim to stimulate the supply and take-up of both debt and equity finance, which may include seed funding, angel funding and quasi-equity financing. The Commission shall pay attention to the visibility of EU funding to SMEs so as to ensure that EU support is known and recognised.

2. As part of the actions referred to in paragraph 1, the Commission shall develop measures, subject to market demand, to improve cross-border and multi-country financing, thereby assisting SMEs to internationalise their activities in compliance with Union law.

2. As part of the actions referred to in paragraph 1, the Commission shall develop measures, subject to market demand, to improve cross-border and multi-country financing, thereby assisting SMEs to internationalise their activities, in compliance with Union law.

 

The Commission may also examine the possibility of developing other innovative financial instruments, such as crowdfunding, subject to market demand.

3. Details of the actions referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article are laid down in Annex II.

3. Details of the actions referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article are laid down in Articles 14a and 14b.

Amendment  63

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. In order to continue improving the competitiveness and access to markets of Union enterprises, the Commission shall maintain its support for the Enterprise Europe Network.

1. In order to continue improving the competitiveness and access to markets of Union enterprises, the Commission shall continue its support for the Enterprise Europe Network in accordance with Article 9a.

2. The Commission may support actions to improve SMEs access to the Single Market including information provision and awareness-raising.

2. The Commission shall support actions to improve SMEs access to the Single Market including information provision and awareness-raising on EU initiatives, programmes and legislation, including with a view to facilitating compliance with EU requirements and standards.

3. Specific measures shall aim to facilitate SMEs access to markets outside the Union, and to strengthening existing support services in those markets. SMEs may receive support through the Programme as regards standards and intellectual property rights in priority third countries.

3. Specific measures shall aim to facilitate SMEs access to markets outside the Union, and to strengthening existing support services in those markets. SMEs may receive support through the Programme as regards information on existing market entry barriers as well as on public procurement, standards and intellectual property rights and customs procedures in priority third countries. These measures shall complement but not duplicate existing trade promotion activities.

4. Actions under the Programme may aim to foster international industrial cooperation, including industrial and regulatory dialogues with third countries. Specific measures may aim to reduce differences between the Union and other countries in regulatory frameworks for industrial products, on industrial policy and the improvement of the business environment.

4. Actions under the Programme may aim to foster international cooperation, including industrial and regulatory dialogues with third countries. Specific measures may aim to reduce differences between the Union and other countries in regulatory frameworks for products, on enterprise and industrial policy and the improvement of the business environment.

Amendment  64

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 9a

 

Enterprise Europe Network

 

1. The Commission shall ensure that the activities of the Enterprise Europe Network (“the Network”) are continued and enhanced. The Network shall provide integrated business support services to Union SMEs that seek to explore opportunities in the Single Market and in third countries.

 

Taking into account the established experience and skills of existing national business support networks, actions under the Network may include, but are not restricted to, the following:

 

(a) information and advice, including on internationalisation services in the Single Market and in third countries, business cooperation, feedback, funding opportunities, access to finance and related coaching and mentoring schemes;

 

(b) services for innovation and for the transfer of both technology and knowledge; services to increase SMEs' access to energy efficiency, climate and environmental expertise;

 

(c) services encouraging the participation of SMEs in Union programmes, including Horizon 2020 and the Structural Funds.

 

(d) support for enhancing management capacities to increase the competitiveness of SMEs;

 

3. Services delivered by the Network on behalf of other Union programmes shall be funded by those programmes.

 

4. The Network shall not replace or duplicate, but complement, the activity of existing organisations active in SME business support. With a view to adopting further measures to improve the performance of the Network, the Commission shall assess its effectiveness, governance and geographical distribution with a view to improving the take-up by SMEs of the proposed services as well as ensuring a more balanced geographical distribution.

Amendment  65

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraphs 1, 1 a (new) and 1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. In order to implement the Programme, the Commission shall adopt an annual work programme in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 16(2). The annual work programmes shall set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. They shall also contain a description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and an indicative implementation timetable, as well as appropriate indicators for monitoring effectiveness in delivering outcomes and achievements of the objectives. They shall include for grants the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing.

1. The Commission shall adopt an annual work programme by means of delegated acts in accordance with Article 18. The annual work programmes shall set out the objectives pursued based on prior consultations, the expected results, the method of implementation, their total amount and appropriate indicators for monitoring effectiveness in delivering outcomes and achievements of the objectives. They shall include for grants the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing.

 

1a. The Commission shall implement the annual work programmes referred to in paragraph 1 by setting out:

 

(a) a description of the actions to be financed;

 

(b) an indication of the amount allocated to each action;

 

(c) an indicative implementation timetable.

 

1b. The measures referred to in paragraph 1a shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 16(2).

Amendment  66

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1c. The Commission may promote the establishment of integrated and user-friendly online systems that provide information on programmes relevant for SMEs, whilst ensuring that these do not duplicate existing portals.

Amendment  67

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. In addition to the measures covered by the work programme referred to in Article 10, the Commission shall regularly undertake support measures, including the following:

1. In addition to the measures covered by the work programme referred to in Article 10, the Commission shall regularly undertake support measures, including the following:

(a) the analysis and monitoring of sectoral and cross-sectoral competitiveness issues;

(a) the analysis and monitoring of sectoral and cross-sectoral competitiveness issues;

(b) the identification of good practices and policy approaches, and their further development;

(b) the identification and dissemination of good practices and policy approaches, and their further development;

(c) impact assessments of Union measures of particular relevance for the competitiveness of enterprises, with a view to identifying areas of existing legislation that need to be simplified, or areas in which new legislative measures need to be proposed;

(c) fitness checks of existing legislation and impact assessments of new Union measures that are of particular relevance for the competitiveness of enterprises, with a view to identifying areas of existing legislation that need to be simplified and ensuring that burdens on SMEs are minimised in areas in which new legislative measures are proposed. Lighter regimes for SMEs or micro-enterprise-specific exemptions shall be demonstrated by the SME test and may not interfere with fundamental EU health-and-safety at work requirements, fundamental EU workers' rights or fundamental principles of EU environmental legislation;

(d) the evaluation of legislation affecting enterprises, specific industrial policy and competitiveness-related measures.

(d) the evaluation of legislation affecting enterprises, in particular SMEs, industrial policy and competitiveness-related measures.

 

(da) the follow-up and assessment of the implementation of the Think Small First principle as laid down in the Commission communication "A Small Business Act for Europe" from 25 June 2008.

2. These support measures referred to in paragraph 1 shall not necessarily form part of the annual work programmes referred to in Article 10.

2. These support measures referred to in paragraph 1 shall not necessarily form part of the annual work programmes referred to in Article 10 and shall cost no more than [2,5%] of the programme's financial envelope.

Amendment  68

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission shall draw up an annual monitoring report examining the efficiency and effectiveness of supported actions in terms of financial implementation, results and, where possible, impact. The report shall include information on the amount of climate-related expenditure and the impact of support to climate-change objectives to the extent that the collection of this information does not create unjustified administrative burden for SMEs.

2. The Commission shall draw up an annual monitoring report examining the efficiency and effectiveness of supported actions in terms of financial implementation, results and, where possible, impact. The report shall include basic information on grant beneficiaries and anonymised basic information on grant applicants, if available. The report shall also include information on the amount of climate-related expenditure and the impact of support to climate-change objectives to the extent that the collection of this information does not create unjustified administrative burden for SMEs. The annual report shall be presented to the competent committee of the European Parliament and made available to the public.

Justification

Information on grant beneficiaries and applicants would be helpful for the evaluation of grants awarded under the Programme.

Amendment  69

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. An evaluation report shall be established on the longer-term impacts and the sustainability of effects of the measures to feed into a decision on a possible renewal, modification or suspension of a subsequent measure.

4. An ex-post evaluation report shall be established on the longer-term impacts and the sustainability of effects of the measures.

Amendment  70

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. A set of key performance indicators shall be developed as a basis for assessing the extent to which the objectives of the actions supported under the Programme have been achieved. They shall be measured against pre-defined baselines reflecting the situation before implementation of the actions.

deleted

Justification

Since the indicators will be defined by the co-legislators in this Regulation, there is no need to develop further indicators.

Amendment  71

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

6a. In order for funds to reach SMEs, a monitoring system shall be put in place to ensure that banks use the funds and guarantees to increase their SME lending. This may include reporting schemes and a code of conduct for banks lending to SMEs The monitoring system shall also ensure that not only medium-sized enterprises, but also small and micro-enterprises, receive loans out of Union funds.

Amendment  72

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Financial instruments under the Programme shall be operated with the aim of facilitating access to finance for growth-oriented SMEs. The financial instruments shall include an equity facility and a loan guarantee facility.

1. Financial instruments under the Programme shall be operated with the aim of facilitating access to finance for SMEs in their start-up, growth and transfer phases without any distinctions based on activity or market size. The financial instruments shall include an equity facility and a loan guarantee facility.

Amendment  73

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The financial instruments for growth-oriented SMEs may, where appropriate, be combined with other financial instruments established by Member States and their managing authorities in accordance with [Article 33(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No XXX/201X [New Regulation on Structural Funds]], and grants funded from the Union, including under this Regulation.

2. The financial instruments for SMEs may, where appropriate, be combined with other financial instruments established by Member States and their managing authorities in accordance with [Article 33(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No XXX/201X [New Regulation on Structural Funds]], and grants funded from the Union, including under this Regulation.

Amendment  74

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. The equity and loan guarantee facilities shall be complementary to the Member States' use of financial instruments for SMEs within the framework of cohesion policy and to the Member States' use of financial instruments for SMEs under national promotional programmes.

Justification

For reasons of clarity, this text should be moved from Annex II to Article 14.Further, the facilities should also be complementary to financial instruments for SMEs under national promotional programmes.

Amendment  75

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2b. The equity and loan guarantee facilities may, where appropriate, allow pooling of financial resources with Member States and/or regions willing to contribute part of the Structural Funds allocated to them in accordance with [Article 33(1)(a) of the Structural Funds Regulation].

Amendment  76

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a. The equity and loan guarantees facilities shall comply with the provisions on financial instruments set out in Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities1 and in the Delegated Act replacing the Implementing Rules.

 

______________

 

1 OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

Justification

For reasons of clarity, this text should be moved from Annex II to Article 14.

Amendment  77

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 3 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3b. The financial instruments under the Programme shall be operated in close coordination with the debt and equity facilities under Horizon 2020 with a view to creating a single instrument for intermediaries and enabling SMEs to identify the Programme that corresponds best to their needs through one common source of information.

Justification

This is to clarify, while it cannot be expected from financial intermediaries to sign up to financial instruments both under COSME and Horizon 2020, both Programmes should be closely coordinated to offer a single instrument for intermediaries and to guide SMEs to the support programme that corresponds best to their needs through one common source of information, e.g. through a dedicated EU website.

Amendment  78

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 3 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3c. The Commission and the Member States shall take adequate measures to disseminate information on the available financial instruments among SMEs and intermediaries.

Amendment  79

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 3 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3d. Revenues and repayments related to the second window of the the High Growth and Innovative SME Facility under Decision No 1639/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 establishing a Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007 to 2013)1 shall be assigned to the financial instruments of this Programme.

 

______________

 

1 OJ L 310, 9.11.2006, p. 15.

Justification

For reasons of clarity, this text should be moved from Annex II to Article 14.Revenues and repayments related to GIF 2 shall be assigned to the financial instruments of this Programme.

Amendment  80

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 3 e (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3e. The financial instruments for SMEs shall be implemented in compliance with the relevant Union law on State aid. The conditions for any exclusion of the financial instruments from State aid rules shall be clearly stated in the Programme guidelines and manuals.

Justification

In order to simplify procedures and facilitate access to COSME, the conditions for any exclusion of the financial instruments from state aid rules (for example, de minimis threshold, or contractual conditions) should be clearly stated in COSME guidelines and manuals.

Amendment  81

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. In accordance with Article 18(4) of Regulation (EU) No XXXX/2012 [New Financial Regulation], revenues and repayments generated by one financial instrument shall be assigned to that financial instrument. For financial instruments already set up in the multiannual financial framework for the 2007-2013 period, revenues and repayments generated by operations started in that period shall be assigned to the financial instrument in the period 2014-2020.

4. In accordance with Article 18(3)(h) of Regulation (EU) No XXXX/2012 [New Financial Regulation], revenues and repayments generated by one financial instrument shall be assigned to that financial instrument. For financial instruments already set up in the multiannual financial framework for the 2007-2013 period, revenues and repayments generated by operations started in that period shall be assigned to the financial instrument in the period 2014-2020.

Amendment  82

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 14a

 

Equity Facility for Growth

 

1. The Equity Facility for Growth (EFG) shall focus on funds that provide: venture capital and mezzanine finance, such as subordinated and participating loans, to expansion and growth-stage enterprises, in particular those operating across borders, while having the possibility of making investments in early-stage funds in conjunction with the Equity Facility for Research and Innovation (R&I) under Horizon 2020 and providing co-investment facilities for business angels. In cases of early-stage investment, the investment from EFG shall not exceed 20 % of the total Union investment except in cases of multi-stage funds and funds-of-funds, where funding from EFG and the Equity Facility for R&I shall be provided on a pro rata basis, on the basis of the funds' investment policy. The Commission shall avoid buy-out or replacement capital intended for the dismantling of an acquired enterprise. The Commission may decide to amend the 20 % threshold in the light of changing market conditions.

 

2. The EFG shall be implemented as a window of a single Union equity financial instrument supporting Union enterprises' growth and R&I from the early stage (including seed) to the growth stage and financially supported by the Horizon 2020 and the Programme.

 

The EFG and the Equity Facility for R&I to be established under Horizon 2020 shall use the same delivery mechanism.

 

3. Support from the EFG shall be in the form of one of the following investments:

 

(a) directly by the European Investment Fund (EIF) or other entities entrusted with the implementation on behalf of the Commission; or

 

(b) by public or private funds-of-funds or investment vehicles investing across borders established by the EIF or other entities entrusted with the implementation on behalf of the Commission together with private investors and/or public financial institutions and venture capital operators active at regional and local level;

 

4. The EFG shall invest in intermediary risk capital funds investing in SMEs, typically in their expansion and growth-stage. Investments under EFG shall be long-term, i.e. usually involving 5 to 15 year positions in risk capital funds. In any event, the lifetime of the investments under the EFG shall not exceed 20 years from the time of signature of the agreement between the Commission and the entity entrusted with its implementation.

Amendment  83

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 14b

 

The Loan Guarantee Facility

 

1. The Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF) shall be operated by the EIF or other entities entrusted with the implementation on behalf of the Commission. The facility shall provide:

 

(a) counter-guarantees and other risk sharing arrangements for guarantee schemes;

 

(b) direct guarantees and other risk sharing arrangements for any other financial intermediaries meeting the eligibility criteria;

 

2. The LGF shall be implemented as part of a single EU debt financial instrument for EU enterprises' growth and R&I, using the same delivery mechanism as the SME demand-driven window of the Guarantee Facility for R&I under Horizon 2020 (RSI II).

 

3. The LGF shall consist of:

 

(a) debt financing via loan guarantees, including subordinated and participating loans, or leasing, which shall reduce the particular difficulties that SMEs face in accessing finance either due to their perceived high risk or their lack of sufficient available collateral;

 

(b) securitisation of SME debt finance portfolios, which shall mobilise additional debt financing for SMEs under appropriate risk-sharing arrangements with the targeted institutions. Support for those transactions shall be conditional upon an undertaking by the originating institutions to use a significant part of the resulting liquidity or the mobilised capital for new SME lending within a reasonable period of time. The amount of this new debt financing shall be calculated in relation to the amount of the guaranteed portfolio risk. This amount and the period of time shall be negotiated individually with each originating institution.

 

4. The LGF shall, except for loans in the securitised portfolio, cover loans up to EUR 150 000 and with a minimum maturity of 12 months. The LGF shall also cover loans in excess of EUR 150 000 in cases where SMEs do not meet the criteria to be eligible under Horizon 2020's SME window in the Debt facility, and with a minimum maturity of 12 months. The Commission may launch communication actions having SMEs as target audience.

 

5. The LGF shall be designed in such way as to make it possible to report on SMEs supported, both in terms of number and volume of loans.

Amendment  84

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 18 concerning changes to the details of the specific actions set out in Annex II to this Regulation if economic market developments so require or according to the results achieved by the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF) and the Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI) of the 7th Framework Programme for Risk Sharing Financial Facility.

2. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 18 concerning changes to the indicators in Article 2 (2) and Annex I, changes to the budget for financial instruments in Article 4(1) and to the financial instruments themselves in Articles 14, 14a and 14b if economic market developments so require or according to the results achieved by the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF) and the Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI) of the 7th Framework Programme for Risk Sharing Financial Facility.

(See Articles 4(1), 14, 14a (new), 14b (new))

Amendment              85

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – General Objective 1

General objective:

1. To strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union's enterprises including in the tourism sector

Impact indicator

Current situation

Long term target and milestone (2020)

Growth of the industrial competitiveness

2009: -3.1%, 2008: -0.3%, 2007: +0.7%

Annual growth of 1% and a 5% growth in 2015

Change of administrative burden on SMEs (N° of days to set-up a new enterprise)

2009: -3.1% Number of days to set up new SME: 7 working days

Reduction of number of days to set-up a new SME: 3 working days in 2020.

EU manufacturing output growth in eco-industries (% change from previous year)

Annual growth of 6-7% during the last years

Annual growth of 8% on average during the next decade; By 2015, a 50% increase in output is targeted

 

Amendment

General objective:

1. To strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union's enterprises, in particular SMEs

Impact indicator

Current situation

Long term target and milestone (2020)

Percentage of growth of the Union's industrial and services sectors in relation to total Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

2009: -3.1%, 2008: -0.3%, 2007: +0.7%

Annual growth of 1%

Changes in administrative burden on both new and existing SMEs (N° of days and costs to set-up a new enterprise, time needed to get licences and permits to take up and perform the specific activity of an enterprise)

Number of days to set up new SME in 2011: 6.5 working days.

Reduction of number of days to set-up a new SME to 3 working days.

 

Cost of start-up: € 379.

Reduction of start-up costs to € 100.1

 

Number of Member States complying with the SBA target to reduce the time needed to get licences and permits (including environmental permits) to take up and perform the specific activity of an enterprise to one month: 2

Number of Member States complying with the SBA target to reduce the time needed to get licences and permits (including environmental permits) to take up and perform the specific activity of an enterprise to one month: 242

 

Number of Member States with a one-stop shop for business start-ups so that entrepreneurs can carry out all the required procedures (e.g. registration, tax, VAT and social security) via a single administrative contact point, whether physical (an office), virtual (web), or both in 2009: 18

Increase in number of Member States with a one-stop shop for business start-ups to 283

EU manufacturing output growth in eco-industries (% change from previous year)

Annual growth of 6-7% during the last years

Annual growth of 8% on average during the next decade; By 2015, a 50% increase in output is targeted

 

 

__________________

 

 

1 The conclusions of the Competitiveness Council of 31st May 2011 included a call to Member States "to reduce the start-up time for new enterprises to 3 days and the cost to €100 by 2012.

 

 

2 The SBA review invited Member States to "reduce the time needed to get licences and permits (including environmental permits) to take up and perform the specific activity of an enterprise to one month by the end of 2013". 24 Member States have already reduced this period to 3 months.

 

 

3 According to the 2006 spring Council conclusions, "all MS must have a one stop shop or equivalent arrangement so that all formalities to start up a company can be carried in one spot."

Amendment  86

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – General Objective 2

General objective:

2. To encourage an entrepreneurial culture and promote the creation and growth of SMEs

Impact indicator

Current situation

Long term target and milestone (2020)

SME growth in terms of added-value and employees

In 2010 SMEs provided more than 58% of total EU turnover (GVA);

Target increase in SMEs Gross Value-Added of 4% per year;

Feedback from SMEs and other final beneficiaries on added-value, utility and relevance of the Programme (to be measured in the Programme evaluations) through the Europe Enterprise Network (EEN) and on-line surveys

Total number of employees in SMEs: 87,5 million (67% of private sector jobs in the EU)

Annual growth of employees in SMEs of 1%

SME turnover rate (start-ups and mortality)

78 % satisfaction and positive feedback on the added-value of the EEN

Increase to more than 80 % of satisfaction on the value added of the EEN

 

Amendment

General objective:

2. To encourage an entrepreneurial culture and promote the creation and growth of SMEs

Impact indicator

Current situation

Long term target and milestone (2020)

SME growth in terms of added-value (Eurostat)

In 2010 SMEs provided more than 58% of total EU turnover (GVA);

Target increase in SMEs Gross Value-Added of 4% per year;

Changes in the SME employment rate (Eurostat)

Total number of employees in SMEs in 2010: 87,5 million (67% of private sector jobs in the EU)

Annual growth of employees in SMEs of 1%

Changes in the proportion of EU citizens who wish to be self-employed

Figures from 2007 and 2009 are stable at 45%

Increase in the proportion of EU citizens who wish to be self employed to 50-55%

Amendment  87

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – Specific Objective: To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises, including in the tourism sector – Activities to improve Competitiveness

Specific objective:

To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises, including in the tourism sector

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (result) 2017

Activities to improve Competitiveness

 

 

Number of simplification measures adopted

The Commission's simplification programme was updated in 2010 and is on track to cut red tape by 25% in 2012. There were 5 simplification measures per year taken until 2010.

About 7 simplification measures per year.

Number of "fitness" checks on quality and value-added of activities

Four "fitness" checks including stakeholders were launched in 2010 for environmental, transport, employment and industrial policies. Feedback included comments on legislation and value-added of activities.

The feedback approach with "fitness" checks will be extended to other policies and lead to simplification impacting positively on industry. Up to twelve "fitness" checks are provided for, with the objective of better regulation.

Level of adoption by companies of European sustainable production and product tools, including EMAS, eco-label, and eco-design

Approximately 35,000 ISO 14001 EMS certifications and 4,500 EMAS registration, 18,000 licences for the EU Ecolabel

Significant number of companies monitor their performance, apply environmental management systems and achieve improvement in resource productivity and environmental performance. Significant part of production is resource efficient and environmentally friendly products

 

Amendment

Specific objective:

To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, including in the tourism sector

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (2017)

Long term target (2020)

Activities to improve Competitiveness

 

 

 

Number of simplification measures adopted

The Commission's Rolling Simplification Programme feeds annually into Annex II of the Commission's Work Programme (CWP). There were on average between 5 and 10 simplification measures per year taken over the last few years.

About 7 simplification measures per year.

About 7 simplification measures per year.

Number of "fitness" checks on on industrial policies/industrial products legislations

One "fitness" check has been launched in 2012 for industrial policies (type-approval of motor vehicle).

Up to 3 fitness checks to be launched

Up to 5 fitness checks to be launched.

Number of Member States using the competitiveness proofing test

Number of Member States using competitiveness proofing: 0

Number of Member States using competitiveness proofing: 10

Number of Member States using competitiveness proofing: 28

Level of adoption by companies of European sustainable production and product tools, including EMAS, eco-label, and eco-design

Approximately 35,000 ISO 14001 EMS certifications and 4,500 EMAS registration, 18,000 licences for the EU Ecolabel

Significant increase in the number of companies that monitor their performance, apply environmental management systems.

Significant increase in the number of companies that monitor their performance, apply environmental management systems.

Amendment  88

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – Specific Objective: To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises, including in the tourism sector – Developing SME policy

Specific objective:

To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises, including in the tourism sector

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (result) 2017

Developing SME policy

 

 

Number of Member States using SME test

Number of Member States using SME test: 15 MS

Number of Member States using SME test: 21 MS

Increased EU-wide publicity for the European Enterprise Awards with media publications/clippings in all Member States

Number of media publications/clippings in all Member States: 60 in 2010

Number of media publications/clippings in all Member States: 80

Reduction in start-up time and complexity for new enterprises

Reduction in start-up time: 7 working days

Reduction in start-up time: 5 working days

 

Amendment

Specific objective:

To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, including in the tourism sector

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (2017)

Long term target (2020)

Developing SME policy

 

 

 

Number of Member States using SME test

Number of Member States using SME test: 15 MS

Number of Member States using SME test: 21 MS

Number of Member States using SME test: 28 MS

Amendment  89

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – Specific Objective: To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises, including in the tourism sector – New Business Concepts

Specific objective:

To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises, including in the tourism sector

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (result) 2017

New Business Concepts

 

 

Number of new products/services in the market

So far this activity was restricted to analytical work of limited scale.

Target for the cumulative number of new products/services to be 5 in 2017(increasing to 15 in 2018 and 25 in 2019).

Level of additional exports and corresponding monetary amounts

 

As for exports, no expected impact in 2017 yet. The share of exports of the first generation of participating SMEs will appear in 2018 with a target increase of 20%.

Feedback from stakeholders on quality and value-added of activities

 

At least 70% of SMEs participating in 2014 shall express a positive impact on their turn over in a survey done end 2017

 

Amendment

Specific objective:

To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises, in particular SMEs, including in the tourism sector

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (2017)

Long term target (2020)

New business Concepts

 

 

 

Number of new products/services in the market

So far this activity was restricted to analytical work of limited scale.

Target for the cumulative number of new products/services to be 5 in 2017.

Target for the cumulative number of new products/services to be 30 in 2020.

Level of additional exports and corresponding monetary amounts

So far this activity was restricted to analytical work of limited scale.

As for exports, no expected impact in 2017 yet. The share of exports of the first generation of participating SMEs will appear in 2018 with a target increase of 20%.

The share of exports of participating SMEs in 2020 should achieve a target of 25%.

Feedback from stakeholders on quality and value-added of activities

So far this activity was restricted to analytical work of limited scale.

At least 70% of SMEs participating in 2014 shall express a positive impact on their turn over in a survey done end 2017

At least 80% of SMEs participating in 2014 shall express a positive impact on their turnover in a survey done end 2020.

Amendment  90

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – Specific Objective: To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises, including in the tourism sector – Tourism

Specific objective:

To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises including in the tourism sector

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (result) 2017

Tourism

 

 

Number of applications to funding

Number of applications to funding (to all calls for proposals) in total: around 75 per year (average for 2011)

Number of applications to funding (to all calls for proposals) in total: more than 100 per year

Percentage of SMEs (and trend) in applications for tourism-related funding opportunities

To date, no calls for proposals were directly addressed to SMEs

30% of calls for proposals directly addressed to SMEs

Number of entities adopting European Tourism Quality Label

Up to date no entity adopting European Tourism Quality Label (action in elaboration)

Coverage of 50% of the evaluation schemes eligible to participate in the European Tourism Quality Label

Number of destinations adopting the sustainable tourism development models promoted by the European Destinations of Excellence

Number of European Destinations of Excellence awarded in total 98 (on average 20 per year – in 2007-10, in 2008-20, in 2009-22, in 2010-25, in 2011-21)

200 and more destinations adopting the sustainable tourism development models promoted by the European Destinations of Excellence (up to 30 per year).

Amendment

Specific objective: :

To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, including in the tourism sector

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (result) 2017

Tourism

 

 

Number of entities adopting European Tourism Quality Label

Up to date no entity adopting European Tourism Quality Label (action in elaboration)

Coverage of 50% of the evaluation schemes eligible to participate in the European Tourism Quality Label

Number of destinations adopting the sustainable tourism development models promoted by the European Destinations of Excellence

Number of European Destinations of Excellence awarded in total 98 (on average 20 per year – in 2007-10, in 2008-20, in 2009-22, in 2010-25, in 2011-21)

200 and more destinations adopting the sustainable tourism development models promoted by the European Destinations of Excellence (up to 30 per year).

 

 

 

 

 

Amendment  91

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – Specific Objective: To promote entrepreneurship, including among specific target groups – Support for entrepreneurship

Specific objective:

To promote entrepreneurship, including among specific target groups

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (result) 2017

Support for entrepreneurship

 

 

Feedback on the public perception of entrepreneurship (% of EU citizens that would like to be self employed as measured by Eurobarometer)

Figures from 2007 and 2009 are stable at 45%

Increase in EU citizens that would like to be self employed to 50%

Number of States implementing entrepreneurship solutions developed at the EU level

Number of States implementing entrepreneurship solutions developed at EU level: 22 (2010)

Number of Member States implementing entrepreneurship solutions developed at EU level: 25

Number of nationally run programmes available to SMEs from other MS

Number of nationally run programmes available to SMEs from other MS: 5

Number of nationally run programmes available to SMEs from other MS: 10

Number of simplification measures adopted for SMEs

5 simplification measures per year (2010)

About 7 simplification measures per year

 

Amendment

Specific objective:

To promote entrepreneurship, including among specific target groups

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (2017)

Long term target (2020)

Support for entrepreneurship

 

 

 

Increased number of Member States implementing entrepreneurship solutions based on good practices identified through Programme.

Number of Member States implementing entrepreneurship solutions : 22 (2010)

Number of Member States implementing entrepreneurship solutions: 25

Number of Member States implementing entrepreneurship solutions: 28.

Increased number of nationally run programmes available to SMEs from other MS

Number of nationally run programmes available to SMEs from other MS: 5

Number of nationally run programmes available to SMEs from other MS: 10

Number of nationally run programmes available to SMEs from other MS: 15.

Amendment  92

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – Specific Objective: To improve access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt– Financial Instruments for Growth

Specific objective:

To improve access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (result) 2017

Financial Instruments for growth

 

 

Number of firms receiving loan (credit) guarantees and value of lending

Proposed instruments not yet launched and not the same as current instruments, so data from current instruments may not be comparable

Number of firms receiving loan (credit) guarantee (+/- 95 000) and value of lending (+/- €10.7 billon)

Number of VC-backed firms and value of investments (of which cross border deals)

 

Number of VC-backed firms: (+/- 180) and value of investments (+/- €220m)

 

Amendment

Specific objective:

To improve access to finance for SMEs

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (2017)

Long term target (2020)

Financial Instruments for growth

 

 

 

Number of firms receiving loans (credit) benefiting from a Programme guarantee and value of lending

As of 31 December 2011 € 10.2 billion in lending mobilised, reaching 171.000 SMEs (SMEG).

Number of firms receiving loan (credit) benefiting from a guarantee (+/- 145 000) and value of lending (+/- €9.6 billon)

Number of firms receiving loan (credit) benefiting from a guarantee (+/- 344 000) and value of lending (+/- €22 billon)

Number of firms receiving VC- investments from the Programme and overall volume invested.

As of 31 December 2011 € 1.9 billion in VC mobilised, reaching 194 SMEs (GIF).

Number of firms receiving VC investments from the Programme and overall volume invested : (+/- 240) and overall value of investments (+/- €2.0 billion)

Number of firms receiving VC investments from the Programme and overall volume invested : (+/- 560) and overall value of investments (+/- €4.7 billion)

Amendment  93

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – Specific Objective: To improve access to markets inside the Union and globally– Enterprise Europe Network

Specific objective:

To improve access to markets inside the Union and globally

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (result) 2017

Enterprise Europe Network

Enterprise Europe Network

Enterprise Europe Network

Number of partnership agreements signed

Partnership agreements signed: 1.950 (2010)

Partnership agreements signed: 3.000/year

Increased recognized Network brand and brand Culture (e.g. brand awareness among SME population)

Increased recognized Network brand and brand Culture: not measured yet

Increased recognized Network brand and brand Culture: 30% of SMES reached

Clients satisfaction rate (% SMEs stating satisfaction, added-value of specific service)

Clients satisfaction rate (% SMEs stating satisfaction, added-value of specific service): 78%

Clients satisfaction rate (% SMEs stating satisfaction, added-value of specific service): >80%

Number of SMEs receiving support services

Number of SMEs receiving support services: 435.000 (2010)

Number of SMEs receiving support services 500.000/year

Number of SMEs participating in brokerage events and company missions

Number of SMEs participating in brokerage events and company missions: 45.000 (2010)

Number of SMEs participating in brokerage events and company missions: 60.000/year

 

Amendment

Specific objective:

To improve access to markets inside the Union and globally

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (2017)

Long term target (2020)

Enterprise Europe Network

 

 

 

Number of partnership agreements signed

Partnership agreements signed: 1.950 (2010)

Partnership agreements signed: 2.200/year

Partnership agreements signed: 2.500/year

Increased recognition of the Network brand among SMEs (e.g. brand awareness among SME population)

Increased recognition of the Network brand among SMEs : not measured yet. Survey will be launched.

Increased recognition of the Network brand SMEs among by: 20% reached compared to initial survey result.

Increased recognition of the Network brand SMEs among by: 30% reached compared to initial survey result.

Clients satisfaction rate (% SMEs stating satisfaction, added-value of specific service)

Clients satisfaction rate (% SMEs stating satisfaction, added-value of specific service): 78%

Clients satisfaction rate (% SMEs stating satisfaction, added-value of specific service): >80%

Clients satisfaction rate (% SMEs stating satisfaction, added-value of specific service): >82%

Number of SMEs receiving support services

Number of SMEs receiving support services: 435.000 (2010)

Number of SMEs receiving support services 470.000/year

Number of SMEs receiving support services 500.000/year

Number of SMEs participating in brokerage events and company missions

Number of SMEs participating in brokerage events and company missions: 45.000 (2011)

Number of SMEs participating in brokerage events and company missions: 48.000/year

Number of SMEs participating in brokerage events and company missions: 50.000/year

Share (%) of SMEs exporting in the Single Market

25% of SMEs export in the Single Market

27% of SMEs export in the Single Market

30% of SMEs export in the Single Market

Amendment  94

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – Specific Objective: To improve access to markets inside the Union and globally– SME business support in markets outside the EU

Specific objective:

To improve access to markets inside the Union and globally

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (result) 2017

SME business support in markets outside the EU

 

 

Share (%) of SMEs involved in international activities (exports, imports, FDI and other activities) outside the EU

13 % (2009)

17 % (2017)

 

Amendment

Specific objective:

To improve access to markets inside the Union and globally

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (2017)

Long term target (2020)

SME business support in the Single Market and in markets outside the EU

 

 

 

Share (%) of SMEs exporting outside the EU

13 % ( (for the period 2006-2008)

17 %

20%

Amendment  95

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – Specific Objective: To improve access to markets inside the Union and globally– International Industrial Cooperation

Specific objective:

To improve access to markets inside the Union and globally

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (result) 2017

International Industrial Cooperation

 

 

Number of cases of improved alignment between EU and third countries’ regulations for industrial products

It is estimated that in regulatory co-operation with main trading partners (US, Japan, China, Brazil, Russia, Canada, India) there is an average of 2 relevant areas of significant alignment of technical regulations

3 relevant areas of significant alignment of technical regulations with main trading partners (US, Japan, China, Brazil, Russia, Canada, India) (2017)

Number of areas and good practices of the EU Small Business Act which have been introduced in neighbourhood and candidate countries

It is estimated that on average in the three policy regions (candidate countries region, neighbourhood East and neighbourhood MED) of the 10 policy areas of the SBA at least 3 of those have been regulated in these countries.

5 policy areas of the SBA in the three policy regions (candidate countries region, neighbourhood East and neighbourhood MED) (2017)

 

Amendment

Specific objective

To improve access to markets inside the Union and globally

Result indicator

Latest known result

Medium term target (2017)

Long term target (2020)

International Industrial Cooperation

 

 

 

Number of cases of improved alignment between EU and third countries’ regulations for industrial products

It is estimated that in regulatory co-operation with main trading partners (US, Japan, China, Brazil, Russia, Canada, India) there is an average of 2 relevant areas of significant alignment of technical regulations

3 relevant areas of significant alignment of technical regulations with main trading partners (US, Japan, China, Brazil, Russia, Canada, India) (2017).

4 relevant areas of significant alignment of technical regulations with main trading partners (US, Japan, China, Brazil, Russia, Canada, India) (2017).

Number of areas and good practices of the EU Small Business Act which have been introduced in neighbourhood and candidate countries

It is estimated that on average in the three policy regions (candidate countries region, neighbourhood East and neighbourhood MED) of the 10 policy areas of the SBA at least 3 of those have been regulated in these countries.

5 policy areas of the SBA in the three policy regions (candidate countries region, neighbourhood East and neighbourhood MED) (2017).

5 policy areas of the SBA in the three policy regions (candidate countries region, neighbourhood East and neighbourhood MED).

Amendment  96

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Annex deleted

(1)

OJ C 181, 21.6.2012, p. 125.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Introduction

The global competitiveness of European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is undermined by market, policy and institutional failures, such as the lack of access to finance, markets and regulatory burden. As a result, European SMEs show lower productivity and grow more slowly than their counterparts in other parts of the world and they are less able to adapt successfully to changes than larger businesses in Europe. These difficulties have been further aggravated by the economic crisis of 2008, which disproportionately affected SMEs.

Within the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU is funding measures to support entrepreneurship and innovation and to promote development and growth of SMEs through the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP), one of the three pillars of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). Under the future MFF (2014-2020), the EIP will be succeeded by the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME). Following its decision to bring research and innovation closer together, the European Commission (EC) has proposed to bring innovation-related activities of the current EIP under Horizon 2020, the new framework programme for research and innovation. COSME will therefore focus on competitiveness, growth and entrepreneurship.

The rapporteur strongly welcomes the proposal for the COSME programme, which is the only EU spending programme specifically aimed at boosting SMEs. In order to further improve the proposal, he would like to submit the following general and specific comments:

General comments

1.   Focus on administrative burden reduction, access to finance and access to markets

Given its limited budget, COSME should focus on the actions with the highest impact and leverage. The rapporteur suggests focusing on three areas: administrative burden reduction, access to finance and access to markets.

After the successful Action Programme for Reducing Administrative Burdens in the EU, the EU needs a new, more ambitious reduction target for 2020 and the work of the High Level Group of Independent Stakeholders for Administrative Burden Reduction should be further supported under COSME.

In the wake of the financial and economic crisis, access to finance has become the top concern for European SMEs, as banks have become more reluctant to lend and investors have become more risk-averse. The financial instruments of the EIP have proved successful in helping SMEs to secure financing, showing considerable leverage effects and feeding through into growth in turnover and jobs and should be continued under COSME.

Access to markets in Europe and third countries should be the third priority field of the COSME. The Enterprise Europe Network still has a lot of unused potential in this respect. The governance of the EEN should be further improved and its visibility should be increased.

2.        Target all SMEs

COSME should focus not only on SMEs with cross-border activities, but also on SMEs that are active at local, regional and national level if an EU added value is proven. EU added value can also consist in addressing market failures that cannot be addressed by Member States alone.

3.        Stronger link with the Small Business Act

In pursuing the actions of COSME, special attention should be paid to the ten principles of the Small Business Act (SBA), which for the first time put in place a comprehensive policy framework for the EU and its Member States to guide the conception and implementation of policies based on the “Think Small First” approach.

4.        Increased involvement of SME representative organisations

COSME is made specifically for SMEs. In order to achieve its objectives, it is essential that SME representative organisations are more involved. For instance, the EC should support the collaboration with SME organisations in the development of SME policy. The EC should also consult SME organisations in the development of indicators, where appropriate, and before deciding the objectives of the annual work programme.

5.        Support for business transfers

Business transfers are important for growth and development of SMEs. Every year, there is a risk of losing 150.000 companies and 600.000 jobs due to inefficiencies in the business transfers system. COSME should address this market failure.

6.        A higher budget for SMEs

It is a well-known fact among policy makers that the 23 million SMEs constitute a major source of economic growth and job creation in the Union. Unfortunately, the political importance of SMEs is not reflected in the budget of COSME: with EUR 2,5 billion, only 0,2% of the proposed MFF budget is allocated to COSME. With a view to his recommendations that financial instruments should also support business transfers

and the threshold of the LGF for loans above EUR 150.000 for non-innovative SMEs should be abolished, the rapporteur considers the proposed budget inadequate to reach its ambitious objectives. Therefore, he proposes to increase the budget to 0,5% of the MFF budget. This would show that the EU is really serious about boosting SMEs.

Specific comments

1.  General objectives

1.1.       Sustainable competitiveness (Article 2 (1a)

The first general objective should be sustainable competitiveness of the Union's enterprises, in particular SMEs. Competitiveness and sustainability should not be understood as independent objectives, since competitiveness in the long term depends on sustainability, and policies should be based on a long-term strategy. Sustainable competitiveness reflects the ability to achieve and maintain the (economic) competitiveness of industry in accordance with sustainable development objectives.

1.2.      Tourism (Articles 2 (1 a), ), 3 (1a))

The rapporteur believes that initiatives in the tourism sector will be eligible for support under COSME where they can demonstrate EU added value, just like any other sector with a high percentage of SMEs and significant contribution to GDP. However, COSME should not discriminate between sectors from the outset. It is therefore deemed inappropriate to highlight the tourism sector in the objectives of the Programme. Nevertheless,, taking account of the fact that tourism has only recently become a shared competence of the EU, tourism should be highlighted under the specific actions.

2.  Specific objectives

2.1.      Actions to improve the framework conditions for sustainable competitiveness (Article 6):

Given the limited resources, support measures should focus on cross-sectoral initiatives that benefit the widest possible range of SMEs. Nevertheless, the EC should also be enabled to support sector-specific initiatives for sectors with a high proportion of SMEs and with a high contribution to the Union's GDP provided that an EU added value of the initiatives can be demonstrated.

2.2.      Actions to promote entrepreneurship (Article 7)

A business environment favourable to entrepreneurship must provide good framework conditions for all situations that entrepreneurs face. According to the SBA, this includes not only the growth phase, but also start-up, transfer and bankruptcy (second chance).

2.3.      Actions to improve access to finance for SMEs (Article 8)

SMEs need access to finance not only in their start-up and growth phases, but also in their transfer phases (see above). This also applies to the financial instruments.

2.4.      Actions to improve access to markets (Article 9)

The rapporteur agrees with the EC that it should maintain its support of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). The performance of the Network has continuously improved and it is providing a wide range of business support services with a clear European added-value. Nevertheless, its performance should be further improved based on an analysis of the different governance structures and uptake across Member States.

Specific measures to facilitate SMEs' access to markets in priority third countries such as the China IPR SME Helpdesk should be supported, as long as they do not duplicate services provided by the Member States or the EEN. The rapporteur is also in favour of support as regards standards and public procurement in third countries. Before introducing new measures, the EC should take stock of existing support measures.

3.   Financial instruments (Articles 4, 14, Annex II)

The rapporteur welcomes the proposed financial instruments in order to facilitate access to loans and equity finance for SMEs. But he is also concerned that the envisaged split between COSME and Horizon 2020 could lead to new inefficiencies and administrative burden. It is therefore essential that the facilities of both programmes are indeed implemented as part of a single instrument, which SMEs and intermediaries can access through a one-stop-shop.

The rapporteur welcomes that 55,5% of the budget is foreseen for financial instruments. Given the excess demand and the high leverage effects, the rapporteur proposes to earmark at least 55,5% of the budget for financial instruments. However, should supply of financial instruments exceed demand, the EC should be enabled to amend the threshold. While the budget allocation for each instrument is only indicative, the allocation of funds to different facilities should take account of market demand.

3.1      Equity Facility for Growth (Article, 14, Annex II)

The rapporteur welcomes the proposal for an equity facility for SMEs in their growth stage, which will complement the equity facility under Horizon 2020 with its focus on start-ups. The provision of mezzanine finance is particularly important as it gives owners of SMEs access to equity capital without giving up their ownership.

3.2      Loan Guarantee Facility (Article 14, Annex II)

The EC has proposed that the LGF should only cover loans up to EUR 150.000, whereas higher loans would be covered by the RSI II under Horizon 2020, for which only innovative companies are eligible. But there is also a financing gap for loans to non-innovative SMEs above EUR 150.000, in particular for business transfers, which, in the opinion of the rapporteur, should be addressed by the LGF. Therefore, he suggests that the LGF should also cover loans above EUR 150.000 in cases where SMEs do not meet the criteria to be eligible under the RSI II.

4.   Indicators (Annex I)

The rapporteur believes that more and better indicators are needed to allow valid and reliable measurement of performance. Furthermore, performance targets should be more ambitious and two separate targets should be set for the specific objectives in order to allow the interim evaluation in 2017 and to have a benchmark for 2020.


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (18.9.2012)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (2014-2020)

(COM(2011)0834 – C7‑0463/2011 – 2011/0394(COD))

Rapporteur: Paul Rübig

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

European SMEs have proven to be the main vehicle to achieve growth and ensure more and better jobs across the Union. They are at the centre of the Europe 2020 strategy and will be instrumental in delivering its objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. This becomes particularly relevant in the current economic context: SMEs can pave the way out of the ongoing economic and employment crisis. After all, between 2002 and 2010, 85% of all new jobs in the EU were created by SMEs.

In order to fulfil these ambitious tasks, European SMEs need to be supported by the EU, both in political and budgetary terms. The EU currently bears a great responsibility to address market and policy failures that have seriously undermined the competitiveness of SMEs and unlock their growth potential. This includes reducing red tape and administrative burden, improving access to finance and access to markets for all SMEs. The Commission presented the COSME programme in the context of the next MFF 2014-2020, with a view to giving a strong answer to those problems by improving the framework conditions of EU businesses and promoting entrepreneurship.

The total proposed budget for the COSME programme is EUR 2.5 billion. The rapporteur would like to stress, in view of the very hard ongoing negotiations on the next MFF, that even if funds are restricted, no reduction will be justified for programmes, such as COSME, that are at the heart of European competitiveness and employment. In fact, the rapporteur believes that it cannot be envisaged that the financial envelope for the COSME programme can be anything less in real terms than the current allocation for the CIP programme. Similarly, and in order to ensure the highest possible allocation of resources in this area, the rapporteur strongly advocates in favour of additionally assigning to this Programme the amounts of possible fines imposed by the Commission on undertakings not respecting EU competition law.

In the framework of the new Programme, emphasis should primarily be put on young entrepreneurs. The rapporteur proposes the integration of "Erasmus for young entrepreneurs" into COSME as a separate action. This programme, originally proposed as a preparatory action by the European Parliament, has been successfully implemented over the past years, enabling young entrepreneurs to learn from and build on experience and good practices in other Member States. As a clear success story, the "Erasmus for young entrepreneurs" deserves a distinct place in the new Programme with the objective of developing entrepreneurial skills and spirit among young people.

As regards the reflows from financial instruments set out in COSME, the rapporteur fully endorses the Commission proposal that revenues and repayments generated by one financial instrument shall be assigned to that instrument. He believes that the multiplier effect of those instruments has the potential to guarantee a more viable and sustainable future for SMEs.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph 1a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. Points out that the financial envelope specified in the legislative proposal constitutes only an indication to the legislative authority and that it cannot be fixed until agreement is reached on the regulation laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020;

Amendment  2

Draft Legislative resolution

Paragraph 1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1b. Recalls its resolution of 8 June 2011 on "Investing in the future: a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for a competitive, sustainable and inclusive Europe"1; reiterates that sufficient additional resources are needed in the next MFF in order to enable the Union to fulfil its existing policy priorities and the new tasks provided for in the Treaty of Lisbon, as well as to respond to unforeseen events; challenges the Council, if it does not share this approach, to clearly identify which of its political priorities or projects could be dropped altogether, despite their proven European added value; points out that even with an increase in the level of resources for the next MFF of at least 5% compared to the 2013 level only a limited contribution can be made to the achievement of the Union's agreed objectives and commitments and the principle of Union solidarity.

 

_______________

 

1 Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0266.

Amendment  3

Draft legislative resolution

Paragraph 1c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1c. Reaffirms the position of its resolution of 8 June 2011 that enhanced support should be given in the next MFF for all programmes and instruments aimed at fostering SMEs, in particular this Programme and the Small Business Act;

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(6a) The spending of EU and Member States’ funds on the promotion of the competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs should be better coordinated in order to assure complementarity, better efficiency and visibility, as well as to achieve better budgetary synergies; the financial envelope of the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME programme) should not be less in real terms than the appropriations allocated to the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP programme).

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(10a) The amounts of the fines imposed by the Commission to undertakings for not respecting EU competition law should be assigned to the Programme in excess to its financial envelope.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11) The Programme should particularly address SMEs, as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Particular attention should be paid to micro enterprises, enterprises engaged in craft activities and social enterprises. Attention should also be paid to the specific characteristics and requirements of young entrepreneurs, new and potential entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs, as well as specific target groups, such as migrants and entrepreneurs belonging to socially disadvantaged or vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities. The Programme should also encourage senior citizens to become and remain entrepreneurs and promote second chances for entrepreneurs.

(11) The Programme should particularly address SMEs, as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Particular attention should be paid to micro enterprises, enterprises engaged in craft activities and social enterprises. Attention should also be paid to the specific characteristics and requirements of young entrepreneurs, self employed workers, new and potential entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs, as well as specific target groups, such as migrants and entrepreneurs belonging to socially disadvantaged or vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities. The Programme should also encourage senior citizens to become and remain entrepreneurs and promote second chances for entrepreneurs. Special attention should be paid to young entrepreneurs in particular through the establishment of the programme “Erasmus for young entrepreneurs”.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) Many of the Union's competitiveness problems involve SMEs' difficulties in getting access to finance because they struggle to demonstrate their credit-worthiness and have difficulties in gaining access to risk capital. This has a negative effect on the level and quality of the new enterprises created and on the growth of enterprises. The added value for the Union of the proposed financial instruments lies inter alia in strengthening the Single Market for venture capital and in developing a pan-European SME finance market. The Union’s actions should be complementary to the Member States’ use of financial instruments for SMEs. The entities entrusted with the implementation of the actions should ensure additionality and avoid double financing through EU resources.

(12) Many of the Union's competitiveness problems involve SMEs' difficulties in getting access to finance because they struggle to demonstrate their credit-worthiness and have difficulties in gaining access to risk capital. This has a negative effect on the level and quality of the new enterprises created and on the growth of enterprises, as well as the readiness of new entrepreneurs to take over viable companies in the context of a transfer of business/succession. EU financial instruments put in place in 2007-2013, in particular SMEG, have a proven added value and have brought a positive contribution to at least 120 000 SMEs, contributing to maintaining 851 000 jobs since the eruption of the financial crisis in 2008. The enhanced added value for the Union of the proposed financial instruments lies inter alia in strengthening the Single Market for venture capital and in developing a pan-European SME finance market. The Union’s actions should be complementary to the Member States’ use of financial instruments for SMEs and Member States should do their utmost to increase the visibility and accessibility of such instruments on their territory. The entities entrusted with the implementation of the actions should ensure additionality and avoid double financing through EU resources.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(20a)It is important to maximise the impact of the Programme by mobilising, pooling and leveraging public and private financial resources.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(23a) The Programme should ensure utmost transparency, accountability and democratic scrutiny of innovative financial instruments and mechanisms that involve the Union budget, especially as regards their contribution, both expected and achieved, to reaching Union objectives.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 24a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(24a) It is important to ensure sound financial management of the programme and its implementation in the most effective and user-friendly manner possible, while also ensuring legal certainty and the accessibility of the programme to all participants.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(25a) The implementation of the Programme should be monitored annually with the aid of key indicators for assessing results and impacts. These indicators, including relevant baselines, should provide the minimum basis for assessing the extent to which the objectives of the programmes have been achieved.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

A programme for Union actions to improve the competitiveness of enterprises, with special emphasis on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (hereinafter ‘the Programme’), is established for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020.

A programme for Union actions to improve the competitiveness of enterprises, with special emphasis on self-employed, micro, small, craft and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (hereinafter ‘the Programme’), is established for the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 – point d a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(da) difference between the number of newly established SMEs and those already existing,

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) To promote entrepreneurship, including among specific target groups;

(b) To promote entrepreneurship, including among specific target groups, in particular young entrepreneurs;

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The financial envelope for implementing the Programme shall be EUR 2.522 billion, of which approximately EUR 1.4 billion shall be allocated to financial instruments.

1. Within the meaning of point [17] of the Interinstitutional Agreement of xxx/201z. between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on cooperation in budgetary matters and sound financial management, the financial envelope for implementing the Programme for its entire duration shall be [...] of the total 2014-2020 MFF ceilings, of which approximately 60 % shall be allocated to financial instruments. That amount shall constitute the prime reference for the budgetary authority during the annual budgetary procedure.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. The amount allocated to financial instruments as referred to in paragraph 1 is an indicative amount without prejudice to the prerogatives of the budgetary authority. It may be adapted upwards or downwards in the frame of the annual budgetary procedure, depending on the results achieved in the implementation of the different financial instruments set out in Annex II.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

An “Erasmus for young entrepreneurs” action shall be established with the objective of developing entrepreneurial skills and attitudes.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission may support Member States' measures to build-up entrepreneurial education, skills and attitudes, in particular among potential and new entrepreneurs.

3. The Commission may support Member States' measures to build-up entrepreneurial education, skills, mindsets and attitudes, in particular in education and training as well as among potential and new entrepreneurs.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. In accordance with Article 18(4) of Regulation (EU) No XXXX/2012 [New Financial Regulation], revenues and repayments generated by one financial instrument shall be assigned to that financial instrument. For financial instruments already set up in the multiannual financial framework for the 2007-2013 period, revenues and repayments generated by operations started in that period shall be assigned to the financial instrument in the period 2014-2020.

4. In accordance with Article 18(3)(h) of Regulation (EU) No XXXX/2012 [New Financial Regulation], revenues and repayments generated by one financial instrument shall be assigned to that financial instrument. For financial instruments already set up in the multiannual financial framework for the 2007-2013 period, revenues and repayments generated by operations started in that period shall be assigned to the financial instrument in the period 2014-2020.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II – section "The Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF)" – point 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The LGF shall, except for loans in the securitised portfolio, cover loans up to EUR 150 000 and with a minimum maturity of 12 months. The LGF shall be designed in such a way that it will be possible to report on the innovative SMEs supported, both in terms of number and volume of loans.

3. The LGF shall, except for loans in the securitised portfolio, cover loans up to EUR 250 000 and with a minimum maturity of 12 months. In the case of financing a transfer of business, the loan amount could go up to EUR 1 000 000. The LGF shall be designed in such a way that it will be possible to report separately on the start-up of businesses, the transfer of businesses, the extension of existing businesses and the innovative SMEs supported, both in terms of number and volume of loans.

PROCEDURE

Title

Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (2014 - 2020)

References

COM(2011)0834 – C7-0463/2011 – 2011/0394(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ITRE

13.12.2011

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

13.12.2011

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Paul Rübig

6.2.2012

Discussed in committee

20.6.2012

 

 

 

Date adopted

6.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

33

2

2

Members present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Richard Ashworth, Reimer Böge, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Jean Louis Cottigny, Jean-Luc Dehaene, James Elles, Göran Färm, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Lucas Hartong, Jutta Haug, Monika Hohlmeier, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Anne E. Jensen, Sergej Kozlík, Jan Kozłowski, Giovanni La Via, George Lyon, Claudio Morganti, Jan Mulder, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Dominique Riquet, Derek Vaughan, Angelika Werthmann

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Burkhard Balz, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Edit Herczog, Peter Jahr, Jürgen Klute, Paul Rübig, Peter Šťastný, Georgios Stavrakakis

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Luigi Berlinguer


OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (10.7.2012)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (2014 - 2020)

(COM(2011)0834 – C7‑0463/2011 – 2011/0394(COD))

Rapporteur: Emma McClarkin

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The Rapporteur welcomes the COSME Programme as proposed by the Commission for 2014-2020 which aims to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union’s enterprises and is intended to support the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy and to contribute to achieving the objective of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Rapporteur considers that it should indeed focus on encouraging the competitiveness and growth of EU enterprises, particularly SMEs. It should also aim to facilitate better access to finance and promote entrepreneurship, including among target groups such as young people and women. Facilitating access to markets, particularly inside the Union, but also globally is another key objective.

The Rapporteur considers that self-employment and business development are important sources of growth and job creation at EU level. Therefore, the conditions for entrepreneurs, especially SMEs, and for citizens who want to set up businesses, need to be improved. In drafting this opinion the Rapporteur focused on a few key areas that could contribute to this objective:

· promoting the uptake of new competitive business models and the cooperation of SMEs in new value chains and new markets;

· improving SMEs’ access to finance in the growth and the start-up phase;

· reducing and simplifying time-consuming barriers for SMEs;

· strengthening the promotion of the COSME programmes and funds to SMEs so that they are aware of the financial opportunities that they can take advantage of;

· funding of the Enterprise Europe Network especially to identify EU programmes which could improve the competitiveness and growth of businesses in the Single Market;

· supporting SMEs by providing advice and information on issues such as market entry barriers, business opportunities, standards and intellectual property rights in priority third countries;

· promoting information provisions regarding digital services.

· a monitoring system should be put in place to ensure the banks use the funds and guarantees to increase their SME lending;

The Rapporteur believes that the European Union should not duplicate measures that are already being taken by Member States. Therefore, the Rapporteur eagerly awaits the results of the mapping exercise currently being carried out by the Commission. It is fundamental that COSME brings added value and that money spent on this Programme is directed towards growth-creating measures.

In terms of support measures and simplification, the Rapporteur underlines the value of smart regulation, including fitness checks of existing legislation and impact assessments of Union measures of particular relevance for the competitiveness and growth of enterprises. To free business up and to foster growth where necessary, legislation should be simplified or appealed and burdens on SMEs should be minimised in future legislation.

The Rapporteur shares the Commission's approach that micro enterprises should be exempt from EU legislation unless there is a justification that proves otherwise. Promotion of use of the SME test and competitiveness proofing tests, which should also be carried out by Member States, is crucial to reduce burdens.

With regard to tourism, the Rapporteur has doubts about this sector being singled out when other sectors, such as public procurement and services which are crucial to growth, have not been. According to the Rapporteur, evaluating COSME, including impacts on job creation and growth, in order to monitor how well the objectives of the Programme have been met, is essential.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) The Commission adopted the Communication ‘Europe 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ in March 2010 (hereinafter ‘the Europe 2020 Strategy’). The Communication was endorsed by the European Council of June 2010. The Europe 2020 Strategy responds to the economic crisis and is intended to prepare Europe for the next decade. It sets five ambitious objectives on climate and energy, employment, innovation, education and social inclusion to be reached by 2020 and identifies key drivers for growth, which aim at making Europe more dynamic and competitive. It also emphasises the importance of reinforcing the growth of the European economy while delivering high levels of employment, a low carbon, resource and energy-efficient economy and social cohesion.

(1) The Commission adopted the Communication ‘Europe 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ in March 2010 (hereinafter ‘the Europe 2020 Strategy’). The Communication was endorsed by the European Council of June 2010. The Europe 2020 Strategy responds to the economic crisis and is intended to prepare Europe for the next decade. It sets five ambitious objectives on climate and energy, employment, innovation, education and social inclusion to be reached by 2020 and identifies key drivers for growth, which aim at making Europe more dynamic and competitive. It also emphasises the importance of reinforcing the growth of the European economy while delivering high levels of employment, a low carbon, resource and energy-efficient economy and social cohesion, for example through SMEs that have an important role in reaching those objectives.

Justification

The important role of SMEs in reaching the Europe 2020 objectives is reflected by the fact that SMEs are mentioned in six out of seven of its flagship initiatives. The importance of SMEs should consequently be emphasised in the description of the Programme.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) In order to ensure that enterprises play a central role in delivering economic growth in Europe, the Commission adopted a Communication, entitled An Integrated industrial policy for the globalization era, putting competitiveness and sustainability at centre stage12 in October 2010, which was endorsed by the European Council on its Conclusions of December 2010. This is a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Communication sets out a strategy that aims to boost growth and jobs by maintaining and supporting a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe, notably through improving framework conditions for enterprises, as well as through strengthening several aspects of the Single Market, including business-related services.

(2) In order to ensure that enterprises play a central role in delivering economic growth in Europe, which is a top priority, the Commission adopted a Communication, entitled 'An Integrated industrial policy for the globalization era, putting competitiveness and sustainability at centre stage'12 in October 2010, which was endorsed by the European Council on its Conclusions of December 2010. This is a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Communication sets out a strategy that aims to boost growth and jobs by maintaining and supporting a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe, notably through improving framework conditions for enterprises, as well as through strengthening several aspects of the Single Market, including business-related services.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3a) The 'gaps', fragmentation and unnecessary red tape within the Single Market impede citizens, consumers and enterprises, particularly SMEs, from reaping its full benefits. Many SMEs, for example, face continuing difficulties when trying to trade across borders. Therefore a concerted effort on the part of the Commission, the European Parliament and Member States to address the implementation, legislative and information shortcomings is acutely necessary. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, the Commission and the Member States should also collaborate to reduce excessive administrative, financial and regulatory burdens on SMEs.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) In order to contribute to the reinforcement of competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, in particular SMEs, the advancement of the knowledge society, and development based on balanced economic growth, a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (hereinafter ‘the Programme’) should be established.

(6) In order to contribute to the reinforcement of competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises, in particular SMEs, the advancement of the knowledge society, and development based on balanced economic growth, a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (hereinafter ‘the Programme’) should be established. Without overlapping programmes at Member State level, the Programme should be specifically easily accessible for all SMEs, particularly small enterprises and micro-entities.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) The competitiveness policy of the Union is intended to put into place the institutional and policy arrangements that create conditions under which enterprises can grow in a sustainable way. Improved productivity is the dominant source of sustainable income growth, which in turn contributes to improvements in living standards. Competitiveness also depends on companies' ability to take full advantage of opportunities such as the European Single Market. This is especially important for SMEs, which account for 99% of the enterprises in the Union, provide two out of three existing jobs in the private sector, and 80 % of newly-created jobs, and contribute with more than half of the total value-added created by enterprises in the Union. SMEs are a key driver for economic growth, employment and social integration.

(8) The competitiveness policy of the Union is intended to put into place the institutional and policy arrangements that create conditions under which enterprises can be created and grow in a sustainable way. Improved productivity is the dominant source of sustainable income growth, which in turn contributes to improvements in living standards. Competitiveness also depends on companies' ability to take full advantage of opportunities such as the European Single Market. This is especially important for SMEs, which account for 99% of the enterprises in the Union, provide two out of three existing jobs in the private sector, and 80 % of newly-created jobs, and contribute with more than half of the total value-added created by enterprises in the Union. SMEs are a key driver for economic growth, employment and social integration.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11) The Programme should particularly address SMEs, as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Particular attention should be paid to micro enterprises, enterprises engaged in craft activities and social enterprises. Attention should also be paid to the specific characteristics and requirements of young entrepreneurs, new and potential entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs, as well as specific target groups, such as migrants and entrepreneurs belonging to socially disadvantaged or vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities. The Programme should also encourage senior citizens to become and remain entrepreneurs and promote second chances for entrepreneurs.

(11) The Programme should particularly address SMEs, as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Particular attention should be paid to micro enterprises and enterprises engaged in craft activities. Attention should also be paid to the specific characteristics of target groups, such as young entrepreneurs, new and potential entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs. Targeted information should be provided for specific groups, such as migrants and persons with disabilities. The Programme should also encourage senior citizens to become and remain entrepreneurs and promote business transfer, spin-offs and second chances for entrepreneurs.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) Many of the Union's competitiveness problems involve SMEs' difficulties in getting access to finance because they struggle to demonstrate their credit-worthiness and have difficulties in gaining access to risk capital. This has a negative effect on the level and quality of the new enterprises created and on the growth of enterprises. The added value for the Union of the proposed financial instruments lies inter alia in strengthening the Single Market for venture capital and in developing a pan-European SME finance market. The Union’s actions should be complementary to the Member States’ use of financial instruments for SMEs. The entities entrusted with the implementation of the actions should ensure additionality and avoid double financing through EU resources.

(12) Many of the Union's competitiveness problems involve SMEs' difficulties in getting access to finance because they struggle to demonstrate their credit-worthiness and have difficulties in gaining access to risk capital. This has a negative effect on the level and quality of the new enterprises created, on the growth of enterprises and on the success of transfers of ownership or generational handovers. The added value for the Union of the proposed financial instruments lies inter alia in strengthening the Single Market for venture capital and in developing a simplified and more transparent pan-European SME finance market. The Union’s actions should be coherent, consistent and complementary to the Member States’ use of financial instruments for SMEs. The entities entrusted with the implementation of the actions should ensure additionality and avoid double financing through EU resources.

Justification

Securing the conditions for the transfer of undertakings is a very important element in ensuring the availability of funding. The availability of capital when changes of ownership take place is one of the central challenges to entrepreneurship policy.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) The Enterprise Europe Network has proven its added value for European SMEs as a one-stop-shop for business support by helping enterprises to improve their competitiveness and explore business opportunities in the Single Market and beyond. The streamlining of methodologies and working methods and provisions of a European dimension to business support services can only be achieved at Union level. In particular, the Network has helped SMEs to find cooperation or technology transfer partners, get advice on sources of financing, and on intellectual property and on eco-innovation and sustainable production. It has also obtained feedback on Union legislation and standards. Its unique expertise is particularly important in overcoming information asymmetries and alleviating transaction costs associated with cross-border transactions.

(13) The Enterprise Europe Network needs to continue to prove its added value for European SMEs in identifying appropriate Union business support programmes and services to improve their competitiveness and explore business opportunities in the Single Market and beyond. The streamlining of methodologies and working methods and provisions of a European dimension to business support services can only be achieved at Union level. In particular, the Network has helped SMEs to find cooperation or technology transfer partners, get advice on sources of Union financing, and on intellectual property and on Union programmes to encourage eco-innovation and sustainable production. It has also obtained feedback on Union legislation and standards and has successfully encouraged the participation of SMEs in EU funding programmes, such as the Seventh Framework Programme. Its unique expertise is particularly important in overcoming information asymmetries and alleviating transaction costs associated with cross-border transactions. Where possible the Network should be further optimised through enhanced contact with national contact points and a higher profile in Member States.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(14a) Activities in this area can create a level playing field for SMEs when planning to become active outside their home country. Such activities should, among others, include information on intellectual property rights and technical standards.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) To improve the competitiveness of European enterprises, notably SMEs, the Member States and the Commission need to create a favourable business environment. The interests of SMEs and the sectors in which they are most active need particular attention. Initiatives at Union level are necessary in order to develop a level playing field for SMEs and to exchange information and knowledge on a European scale.

(15) To improve the competitiveness of European enterprises, notably SMEs, the Member States and the Commission need to create a favourable business environment by reducing the burden of legislation. The interests of SMEs need particular attention. Initiatives at Union level are necessary in order to develop a level playing field for SMEs, to exchange information and knowledge on a European scale and to support the development of a common Union SME policy with European added value. Digital services can be particularly cost-effective in this area.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(15a) The proper implementation, enforcement and monitoring of Alternative Dispute Resolution for consumer disputes by the Commission and the Member States would make resolving disputes quicker, cheaper and less bureaucratic for both consumers and traders, and therefore encourage SMEs to more fully participate in the Single Market and increase their competitiveness.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) Another factor which affects competitiveness is the relatively weak entrepreneurial spirit in the Union. Only 45% of the Union citizens (and less than 40% of women) would like to be self-employed as compared to 55% of the population in the United States and 71% in China. Demonstration and catalytic effects, for example European Awards and conferences, as well as coherence and consistency enhancing measures such as benchmarking and exchanges of best practices provide a high European added value.

(16) Another factor which affects competitiveness is the relatively weak entrepreneurial spirit in the Union. Only 45% of the Union citizens (and less than 40% of women) would like to be self-employed as compared to 55% of the population in the United States and 71% in China. Demonstration and catalytic effects, as well as coherence and consistency enhancing measures such as benchmarking and exchanges of best practices provide a high European added value.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(16 a) SMEs are often prevented from accessing public procurement markets by excessive administrative burdens in calls for tender. The Commission and Member States should simplify these requirements in order to boost competitiveness and create a level playing field for SMEs.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) Global competition, demographic changes, resource constraints and emerging social trends generate challenges and opportunities for some sectors. For example, design-based sectors facing global challenges and characterised by a high proportion of SMEs need to adapt to reap the benefits and harness the untapped potential of high demand for personalised, inclusive products. As these challenges apply to all SMEs in the Union in these sectors, a concerted effort at Union level is necessary.

(17) Global competition, demographic changes, the limited nature of natural resources, and emerging social trends generate challenges and opportunities for many sectors facing global challenges and characterised by a high proportion of SMEs. For example, design-based sectors need to adapt in order to benefit from the untapped potential of high demand for personalised, inclusive products. Design-based consumer goods represent an important economic sector in the Union and its enterprises contribute substantially to growth and jobs. As these challenges apply to all SMEs in the Union in these sectors, a concerted effort at Union level is necessary in order to create additional growth.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18) As outlined in the Commission Communication of 30 June 2010, entitled ‘Europe, the world's No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe’, which was endorsed by the European Council Conclusions of October 2010, tourism is an important sector of the Union economy. Enterprises in this sector substantially contribute to the Union's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and job creation and have significant potential for the development of entrepreneurial activity, since it is run mainly by SMEs. The Lisbon Treaty acknowledges the importance of tourism outlining the Union specific competences in this field which complement the actions of Member States. There is clear added value for the tourism initiative at Union level, especially in providing data and analysis, in developing transnational promotion strategies and in exchanging best practices.

(18) As outlined in the Commission Communication of 30 June 2010, entitled ‘Europe, the world's No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe’, which was endorsed by the European Council Conclusions of October 2010, tourism is an important sector of the Union economy. The Treaty on the functioning of the European Union outlines the Union's specific competences in this field. Enterprises in this sector substantially contribute to the Union's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and job creation and have significant potential for the development of entrepreneurial activity, since it is run, like the majority of business sectors, mainly by SMEs. Initiatives in the tourism sector should be supported by the Programme where there is clear added value at Union level.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(19) The Programme should indicate actions for the objectives, the total financial envelope for pursuing those objectives, different types of implementing measures, and the arrangements for monitoring and evaluation and for protection of the Union's financial interests.

(19) The Programme should indicate actions for the objectives, the total financial envelope for pursuing those objectives, different types of implementing measures, and the transparent arrangements for monitoring and evaluation and for protection of the Union's financial interests.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(20) The Programme should complement other Union programmes, while acknowledging that each instrument should work according to its own specific procedures. Thus, the same eligible costs should not receive double funding. With the aim to achieve added value and substantial impact of Union funding, close synergies should be developed between the Programme, other Union programmes and the Structural Funds.

(20) The Programme should complement other Union programmes, while acknowledging that each instrument should work according to its own specific procedures. Thus, the same eligible costs should not receive double funding. With the aim to achieve added value and substantial impact of Union funding, close synergies should be developed between the Programme and other Union programmes, such as Horizon 2020, and the Structural Funds.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union's enterprises including in the tourism sector;

(a) strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union's enterprises, particularly SMEs;

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) encouraging an entrepreneurial culture and promoting the creation and growth of SMEs.

(b) encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit and culture and promoting the creation and growth of SMEs.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) changes in administrative burden on SMEs,

(c) reduction in administrative and regulatory burdens on SMEs,

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(e) and SME turnover rate.

(e) and SME start ups, growth and reduction in number of failures.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness and sustainability of Union enterprises including in the tourism sector;

(a) To improve framework conditions for the competitiveness, growth, internationalisation and sustainability of Union enterprises, particularly SMEs, including in the services and tourism sectors, procurement and new entrepreneurship;

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) To promote entrepreneurship, including among specific target groups;

(b) To promote entrepreneurship, including among specific target groups, such as young people and women;

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) To improve access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt;

(c) To improve access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt, with venture capital in particular;

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) To improve access to markets inside the Union and globally.

(d) To improve access to markets, particularly inside the Union and also globally.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 2 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) measures to improve the design, implementation and evaluation of policies affecting the competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises, including disaster resilience, and to secure the development of appropriate infrastructures, world class clusters and business networks, framework conditions and development of sustainable products, services and processes;

(a) measures to improve the design, implementation and evaluation of policies affecting the competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises, including disaster resilience, and to secure the sharing of best practices on the development of appropriate infrastructures, world class clusters and business networks, framework conditions and the promotion of development of sustainable products, services and processes;

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 2 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) support for SME policy development and cooperation between policy makers, particularly with a view to improving the ease-of-access to programmes and measures for SMEs.

(c) support for SME policy development and cooperation between policy makers, particularly with a view to improving the ease-of-access to programmes, measures and reducing administrative and regulatory burdens for SMEs.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 2 – point c a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ca) measures to promote the access of SMEs to public procurement, in particular through improved information and guidance on tendering and on the new opportunities offered by the modernised EU legal framework, the exchange of best practice and the organisation of training and events involving public procurers and SMEs;

Justification

Public policy tools should be adapted to SMEs´ needs. They should make use of the Code of Best Practice providing guidance to contracting authorities on how they may apply public procurement framework in a way that facilitates SMEs’ participation in public procurement procedures. In order to implement the SBA principle V "Adapt public policy tools to SME needs: facilitate SMEs’ participation in public procurement and better use State Aid possibilities for SMEs", COSME shall finance measures to promote the access of SMEs to public procurement.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission may support initiatives accelerating the emergence of competitive industries based on cross-sectoral activities in areas characterised by a high proportion of SMEs and with a high contribution to the Union's GDP. Such initiatives shall stimulate development of new markets and the supply of goods and services based on the most competitive business models or on modified value-chains. They shall include initiatives to enhance productivity, resource efficiency, sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

3. The Commission shall support initiatives accelerating the emergence of competitive industries based on cross-sectoral activities in areas characterised by a high proportion of SMEs and with a high contribution to the Union's GDP. Such initiatives shall stimulate the uptake of new competitive business models, the cooperation of SMEs in new value chains and the development of new markets, and promote improved products and processes and flexible organisational structures. They may include initiatives to enhance productivity, resource efficiency, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. The activities shall encourage the adoption of new business models as well as the commercial use of relevant ideas for new products and services. The Commission may also support sector-specific activities for those purposes, in areas characterised by a high proportion of SMEs and with a high contribution to the Union´s GDP, such as the tourism sector, in cases where added value at Union can be sufficiently demonstrated.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall contribute to promoting entrepreneurship by improving framework conditions affecting the development of entrepreneurship. The Commission shall support a business environment favourable to enterprise development and growth.

1. The Commission shall contribute to the fostering of the entrepreneurial spirit by improving framework conditions affecting the development of entrepreneurship. The Commission shall support a business environment favourable to enterprise start up, development, transfer, growth and second chances.

Justification

SMEs are sensitive to rapidly changed market conditions, and it is important to keep a measure of flexibility when allocating funds.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall support actions which aim to improve access to finance for SMEs in their start-up and growth phases, being complementary to the Member States' use of financial instruments for SMEs at national and regional level. In order to ensure complementarity, these actions will be closely coordinated with those undertaken in the framework of cohesion policy and at national level. Such actions shall aim to stimulate the supply of both equity and debt finance.

1. The Commission shall support actions which aim to improve access to finance for SMEs, and reduce and simplify time-consuming barriers for SMEs in their start-up and growth and transfer phases, without imposing additional administrative and regulatory burdens and being complementary to the Member States' use of financial instruments for SMEs at national and regional level. In order to ensure complementarity, these actions will be closely coordinated with those undertaken in the framework of cohesion policy and at national level. Such actions shall aim to stimulate the supply of both equity and debt finance.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. In order to continue improving the competitiveness and access to markets of Union enterprises, the Commission shall maintain its support for the Enterprise Europe Network.

1. In order to continue improving the competitiveness and access to markets of Union enterprises, the Commission shall fund the Enterprise Europe Network to identify appropriate Union programmes which could help to improve their competitiveness and explore business opportunities, notably within the Single Market, while avoiding duplicating the efforts made by the Member States.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission may support actions to improve SMEs access to the Single Market including information provision and awareness-raising.

2. The Commission shall support actions to improve SMEs access to the Single Market including information provision (including through digital services) and awareness-raising on topics such as cross-border business opportunities. These actions may also seek the removal of existing legal and regulatory barriers. Measures may include ensuring that the contact points of the Europe Enterprise Network and the Europe Direct service are provided with adequate information and, if necessary, training, to offer a high standard of service to SMEs, and refocusing the Enterprise Europe Network on providing targeted, tailor-made support for SMEs.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Specific measures shall aim to facilitate SMEs access to markets outside the Union, and to strengthening existing support services in those markets. SMEs may receive support through the Programme as regards standards and intellectual property rights in priority third countries.

3. Specific measures shall aim to facilitate SMEs access to markets outside the Union, and to strengthening existing support services in those markets. SMEs may receive support, advice and information through the Programme on, inter alia, market entry barriers, business opportunities, standards and intellectual property rights in priority third countries. These measures shall complement but not duplicate core trade promotion activities of Member States.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. In order to implement the Programme, the Commission shall adopt an annual work programme in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 16(2). The annual work programmes shall set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. They shall also contain a description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and an indicative implementation timetable, as well as appropriate indicators for monitoring effectiveness in delivering outcomes and achievements of the objectives. They shall include for grants the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing.

1. In order to implement the Programme, the Commission shall adopt an annual work programme in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 16(2). The annual work programmes shall set out the objectives pursued based on prior consultations, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. They shall also contain a description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and an indicative implementation timetable, as well as appropriate indicators for monitoring effectiveness in delivering outcomes and achievements of the objectives. They shall include for grants the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

c) impact assessments of Union measures of particular relevance for the competitiveness of enterprises, with a view to identifying areas of existing legislation that need to be simplified, or areas in which new legislative measures need to be proposed;

c) ‘fitness checks’ of existing legislation and impact assessments of Union measures of particular relevance for the competitiveness and growth of enterprises, and in particular SMEs, with a view to identifying areas of existing legislation that need to be simplified or repealed and to ensure that burdens on SMEs are minimised in areas in which new legislative measures are proposed;

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) the evaluation of legislation affecting enterprises, specific industrial policy and competitiveness-related measures.

(d) the evaluation of legislation affecting enterprises, and in particular SMEs, specific industrial policy and competitiveness-related measures.

Justification

The importance of SMEs should consequently be emphasised in the description of the Programme.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission shall draw up an annual monitoring report examining the efficiency and effectiveness of supported actions in terms of financial implementation, results and, where possible, impact. The report shall include information on the amount of climate-related expenditure and the impact of support to climate-change objectives to the extent that the collection of this information does not create unjustified administrative burden for SMEs.

2. The Commission shall draw up an annual monitoring report examining the efficiency and effectiveness of supported actions in terms of financial implementation, results and impact, including especially job creation and growth. The report shall include information on the amount of climate-related expenditure and the impact of support to climate-change objectives to the extent that the collection of this information does not create unjustified administrative burden for SMEs.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. By 2018 at the latest, the Commission shall establish an evaluation report on the achievement of the objectives of all the actions supported under the Programme at the level of results and impacts, the efficiency of the use of resources and its European added value, in view of a decision on the renewal, modification or suspension of the measures. The evaluation report shall also address the scope for simplification, its internal and external coherence, the continued relevance of all objectives, as well as the contribution of the measures to the Union priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It shall take into account evaluation results on the long-term impact of the predecessor measures;

3. By 2018 at the latest, the Commission shall establish an evaluation report, which shall be published every three years, on the achievement of the objectives of all the actions supported under the Programme at the level of results and impacts, especially on job creation and economic growth, the efficiency of the use of resources and its European added value, in view of a decision on the renewal, modification or suspension of the measures. The evaluation report shall also address the scope for simplification, its internal and external coherence, the continued relevance of all objectives, as well as the contribution of the measures to the Union priorities of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It shall take into account evaluation results on the long-term impact of the predecessor measures;

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

6a. In order for funds to reach SMEs, a monitoring system shall be put in place to ensure that banks use the funds and guarantees to increase their SME lending. This may include reporting schemes and a code of conduct for SME lending banks. The monitoring system shall also ensure that not only medium-sized enterprises, but also small and micro-enterprises receive loans out of Union funds.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Financial instruments under the Programme shall be operated with the aim of facilitating access to finance for growth-oriented SMEs. The financial instruments shall include an equity facility and a loan guarantee facility.

1. Financial instruments under the Programme shall be operated with the aim of facilitating access to finance for SMEs in their start-up, growth and transfer phases. The financial instruments shall include an equity facility and a loan guarantee facility.

Justification

SMEs are sensitive to rapidly changed market conditions, and it is important to keep a measure of flexibility when allocating funds.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The financial instruments for growth-oriented SMEs may, where appropriate, be combined with other financial instruments established by Member States and their managing authorities in accordance with [Article 33(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No XXX/201X [New Regulation on Structural Funds]], and grants funded from the Union, including under this Regulation.

2. The financial instruments for SMEs may, where appropriate, be combined with other financial instruments established by Member States and their managing authorities in accordance with [Article 33(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No XXX/201X [New Regulation on Structural Funds]], and grants funded from the Union, including under this Regulation.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – general objective 1 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. To strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union's enterprises including in the tourism sector

1. To strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union's enterprises

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – general objective 1 – impact indicator 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Change of administrative burden on SMEs (N° of days to set-up a new enterprise)

Reduction of administrative and regulatory burdens on SMEs (N° of days to set-up a new enterprise)

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – specific objective 1 – Developing SME policy – result indicator 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Number of Member States using SME test

Number of Member States using SME test and competitiveness-proofing test

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – specific objective 2 – Support for entrepreneurship – medium term target (result) 2017 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

About 7 simplification measures per year

At least 7 simplification measures adopted per year

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II – paragraph 2 – point 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The EFG shall focus on funds that provide venture capital and mezzanine finance, such as subordinated and participating loans, to expansion and growth-stage enterprises, in particular those operating across borders, while having the possibility to make investments in early stage enterprises in conjunction with the equity facility for RDI under Horizon 2020. In the latter case, the investment from EFG shall not exceed 20% of the total EU investment except in cases of multi-stage funds, where funding from EFG and the equity facility for RDI will be provided on a pro rata basis, based on the funds' investment policy. The EFG shall avoid buy-out or replacement capital intended for the dismantling of an acquired enterprise. The Commission may decide to amend the 20% threshold in light of changing market conditions.

1. The EFG shall focus on funds that provide venture capital and mezzanine finance, such as subordinated and participating loans, to expansion and growth-stage enterprises (which includes expansions and growth-stage innovative enterprises), in particular those operating across borders, while having the possibility to make investments in early stage enterprises in conjunction with the equity facility for RDI under Horizon 2020. In the latter case, the investment from EFG shall not exceed 20% of the total EU investment except in cases of multi-stage funds, where funding from EFG and the equity facility for RDI will be provided on a pro rata basis, based on the funds' investment policy. The EFG shall avoid buy-out or replacement capital intended for the dismantling of an acquired enterprise. The Commission may decide to amend the 20% threshold in light of changing market conditions.

PROCEDURE

Title

Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (2014 - 2020)

References

COM(2011)0834 – C7-0463/2011 – 2011/0394(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ITRE

13.12.2011

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

IMCO

13.12.2011

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Emma McClarkin

29.2.2012

Discussed in committee

25.4.2012

30.5.2012

9.7.2012

 

Date adopted

10.7.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

32

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Pablo Arias Echeverría, Adam Bielan, Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Birgit Collin-Langen, Lara Comi, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, António Fernando Correia de Campos, Cornelis de Jong, Vicente Miguel Garcés Ramón, Evelyne Gebhardt, Louis Grech, Philippe Juvin, Sandra Kalniete, Edvard Kožušník, Toine Manders, Hans-Peter Mayer, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Phil Prendergast, Mitro Repo, Robert Rochefort, Heide Rühle, Christel Schaldemose, Andreas Schwab, Catherine Stihler, Emilie Turunen, Barbara Weiler

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Raffaele Baldassarre, Jürgen Creutzmann, María Irigoyen Pérez, Emma McClarkin, Sabine Verheyen, Anja Weisgerber


OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (25.9.2012)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (2014 - 2020)

(COM(2011)0834) – C7‑0463/2011 – 2011/0394(COD))

Rapporteur: Marina Yannakoudakis

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

In light of the economic crisis throughout the EU it is vital that we use our resources well and to their best advantage. The greatest asset all companies possess are their employees, and the entrepreneurs who create innovative and non-innovative Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). These employees and the SMEs they constitute are the lifeline of the European economy.

Within SMEs the contribution made by women has yet to reach its full potential(1) and we must work towards ensuring that women's participation in this field increases while also promoting practical recommendations that take account of the reality of business and economic life in a competitive market environment.

While all business sectors should have equal access to the future Programme for the Competiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (2014-2020) (COSME) we should also ensure that within these businesses we look closely at the need for gender equality through the recognition of a gender perspective within the proposal.

Importantly, we must also ensure that we uphold a moral commitment to help reduce the risk of poverty and social exclusion across the EU, as 16 per cent of the population of the 27 Member States in 2010 were at risk of poverty due to their disposable income being below the risk threshold.(2) This statistic starkly clarifies the value and importance of increasing the number of female entrepreneurs, which are a heterogeneous group varying in terms of age, background and education.

As the European economic crisis continues it is of the utmost importance that we receive value for money from all EU initiatives, as they are important tools in supporting economic and social growth within the work place. With this as a starting point the draftsperson aims to raise awareness on the use of existing funding opportunities such as micro-finance, special grants and venture capital with an emphasis on gender.

The draftsperson feels that cumbersome EU legislation is not the most practical way forward, especially when we consider that "employment" is a Member State competency. The draftsperson takes the view that the sharing of best practice recommendations is the most effective way to foster sustainable competition and enterprise. This has the dual benefit of supporting female entrepreneurs while also being relatively low cost financially.

Best practice recommendations

To gain a true understanding of the problem it is necessary to collect concise, accurate and up-to-date data in accordance with data protection rules. This data should be broken down into information on gender, ethnicity, age, area, size and length of business. This will ensure funds are channelled into the correct and most effective areas to ensure growth and support to women in SMEs.

Further to this, the opinion recognises that gender equality is best achieved through strong education that fosters fairness and encourages women to reach their full potential in all areas of employment. The draftsperson welcomes educational mentoring support schemes, such as the Commission's European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors (ENFEA), but argues that to increase the strength of this initiative there is a need for Member States to use existing EU facilities to house and run the scheme.

The development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can also contribute towards the smooth running of SMEs by offering the flexible opportunity in the work place. Member States should be encouraged to harness ICT so that they can help raise awareness and offer networking support for women through the use of web-based portals and blogs, which can provide links to relevant female entrepreneur contacts, representatives and events. The Internet and online support can also offer choice to women who are working from home, or who are based in remote areas. Support must be both national and regional in scope and be accessed through different communications media.

Summary

Increasing gender equality in business requires a multi-faceted approach which puts forward best practice recommendations that offer choice, flexibility and opportunity for women. Achieving this means the need for concise, accurate and up-to-date data, access to microfinance, strong education, support schemes, role models and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) which all must offer value for money. Underpinning the need for such measures is addressing the moral commitment to help reduce the risk of poverty and social exclusion across the EU.

The COSME programme represents a viable roadmap for the next five years and the draftsperson wishes to see that the final text takes account of the unique contribution women in business can make in fostering and encouraging growth, which will prove vital in helping to alleviate the serious economic crisis currently facing Europe and the wider global economy.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) The Commission adopted the Communication ‘Europe 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ in March 2010 (hereinafter ‘the Europe 2020 Strategy’). The Communication was endorsed by the European Council of June 2010. The Europe 2020 Strategy responds to the economic crisis and is intended to prepare Europe for the next decade. It sets five ambitious objectives on climate and energy, employment, innovation, education and social inclusion to be reached by 2020 and identifies key drivers for growth, which aim at making Europe more dynamic and competitive. It also emphasises the importance of reinforcing the growth of the European economy while delivering high levels of employment, a low carbon, resource and energy-efficient economy and social cohesion.

(1) The Commission adopted the Communication ‘Europe 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ in March 2010 (hereinafter ‘the Europe 2020 Strategy’). The Communication was endorsed by the European Council of June 2010. The Europe 2020 Strategy responds to the economic crisis and is intended to prepare Europe for the next decade. It sets five ambitious objectives on climate and energy, employment, innovation, education and social inclusion to be reached by 2020 and identifies key drivers for growth, which aim at making Europe more dynamic and competitive. It also emphasises the importance of reinforcing the growth of the European economy while delivering high levels of employment, a low carbon, resource and energy-efficient economy and social cohesion, for women and men equally.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) In June 2008 the Commission adopted the Communication ‘Think Small First - A ’Small Business Act for Europe‘ , which was endorsed by the European Council of December 2008. The Small Business Act (SBA) provides a comprehensive policy framework for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), promotes entrepreneurship and anchors the ’Think Small First' principle in law and policy in order to strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs. The SBA establishes 10 principles and outlines policy and legislative actions to promote SMEs' potential to grow and create jobs. Implementation of the SBA contributes to achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Several actions for SMEs have already been set out in the flagship initiatives.

(3) In June 2008 the Commission adopted the Communication ‘Think Small First - A ’Small Business Act for Europe‘, which was endorsed by the European Council of December 2008. The Small Business Act (SBA) provides a comprehensive policy framework for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), promotes entrepreneurship, aims to better exploit entrepreneurship potential among young people and women and anchors the ’Think Small First' principle in law and policy in order to strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs. The SBA establishes 10 principles and outlines policy and legislative actions to promote SMEs' potential to grow and create jobs. Implementation of the SBA contributes to achieving the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Several actions for SMEs have already been set out in the flagship initiatives.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5) With the proposal for a Council Regulation laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020, adopted on 29 June 2011, the Commission lays down a package of legislative proposals and documents for the 2014-2020 Union budget. That multiannual financial framework describes how the policy goals of increasing growth and creating more jobs in Europe and establishing a low-carbon and more environment-conscious economy and internationally prominent Europe will be achieved.

(5) With the proposal for a Council Regulation laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020, adopted on 29 June 2011, the Commission lays down a package of legislative proposals and documents for the 2014-2020 Union budget. That multiannual financial framework describes how the policy goals of increasing growth and creating more jobs both for men and women equally, in Europe and establishing a low-carbon and more environment-conscious economy and internationally prominent Europe will be achieved.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11a) Female entrepreneurship and female SMEs provide a key source for increasing the degree of female employment and thereby capitalising to a greater extent on women's level of education. Female entrepreneurship also ensures business dynamism and innovation, the potential of which is far from being harnessed in the Union, with an increase in the number of women entrepreneurs resulting in a positive impact and an immediate contribution to the economy overall. Women are particularly highly motivated in self-employment because running their own businesses enables them to set their own working hours and thus to reconcile work and family life better. In an unstable economic climate measures to support female entrepreneurs are easily neglected.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11b) Taking into consideration the low rate of women entrepreneurs (only 30% in Europe), the Programme should promote and facilitate female entrepreneurship as women entrepreneurs have a significant impact on the economy, not only in their ability to create jobs for themselves, but also in creating jobs for others. The current global economic conditions strongly highlight the significant dimension of women's entrepreneurship as an emerging economic force and the need to promote it.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11c) The Programme should underline the importance of promoting non-gender-segregated business ownership, education, training, research and advocacy, by mainstreaming relevant information throughout the system to all stakeholders, as well as through the launch of campaigns and social media networks. Through universities, EU institutions, education ministries and policymakers in Member States, it should promote equally, both the female entrepreneurship as a field of interest for both sexes from the early stages of education and the image of female entrepreneurs, as role models.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12a) Whereas, micro-lending (that is to say loans below EUR 25 000) are provided by the financial intermediaries under the guarantee scheme. There is no specific micro-lending window foreseen under the Programme, as this would constitute an overlap with the "Programme for Social Change and Innovation" proposed by the Commission on 6th October 2011, which specifically covers micro-lending.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) Another factor which affects competitiveness is the relatively weak entrepreneurial spirit in the Union. Only 45% of the Union citizens (and less than 40% of women) would like to be self-employed as compared to 55% of the population in the United States and 71% in China. Demonstration and catalytic effects, for example European Awards and conferences, as well as coherence and consistency enhancing measures such as benchmarking and exchanges of best practices provide a high European added value.

(16) Another factor which affects competitiveness is the relatively weak entrepreneurial spirit in the Union which needs to be inspired with innovative and different approaches addressing specific target groups, especially young people and women. Only 45% of the Union citizens (and less than 40% of women) would like to be self-employed as compared to 55% of the population in the United States and 71% in China. Demonstration and catalytic effects, for example European Awards and entrepreneurship conferences, projects, workshops and mentoring programmes, as well as coherence and consistency enhancing measures such as benchmarking and exchanges of best practices provide a high European added value. Confronting contextual obstacles, traditional views and stereotypes about women, and raising the credibility of women as entrepreneurs is especially vital in inspiring women into entrepreneurships, in retaining their careers as entrepreneurs, and in raising their profile as role models.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 19 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(19a) Data serving as indicators measuring the achievement of objectives - where practically feasible - should be collected and segregated by gender, ethnicity, age, area, size and length of business, and in accordance with the Member States' rules on the protection of personal data, with the help of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions and the European Gender Institute. Where possible, such data should be gathered in way that does not pose an extra burden on SMEs, and should help to enlighten decision makers on the specific problems women entrepreneurs face.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(20) The Programme should complement other Union programmes, while acknowledging that each instrument should work according to its own specific procedures. Thus, the same eligible costs should not receive double funding. With the aim to achieve added value and substantial impact of Union funding, close synergies should be developed between the Programme, other Union programmes and the Structural Funds.

(20) The Programme should complement other Union programmes, while acknowledging that each instrument should work according to its own specific procedures. Thus, the same eligible costs should not receive double funding. With the aim to achieve added value and substantial impact of Union funding, close synergies should be developed between the Programme, other Union programmes and the Structural Funds. Specific measures are needed to make it easier for women, to obtain the funding required for business ventures.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(20a) The Programme should facilitate female entrepreneurs' access to funding that will be made available, with the aim to promote and increase entrepreneurship among women, by means of providing special grants and venture capital.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(20b) The Programme should provide assistance to those women entrepreneurs who have less knowledge about available options of financing and financial management experience, caused by societal factors, who need support not only during the start-up phase but also throughout a firm's business cycle and its wind-up if necessary.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21) The principles of transparency and equal gender opportunity should be taken into account in all relevant initiatives and actions covered by the Programme. The respect of human Rights and fundamental freedom for all citizens should be also considered in those initiatives and activities.

(21) The principles of transparency should be taken into account, and equality between men and women should be promoted in all relevant initiatives and actions covered by the Programme, as well as the additional factors and obstacles which make entrepreneurship an even less attractive or viable option for women such as the family-work imbalance, lack of role models and mentors, social stereotypes and educational entrepreneurship skills. The respect of human Rights and fundamental freedom for all citizens should be also considered in those initiatives and activities.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21a) The Programme should aim to facilitate access to technical, scientific, business and support networks, and should provide appropriate guidance on training, support programmes and mentoring schemes to all interested in starting up an SME - especially to young people and women - with the aim of developing entrepreneurship skills, knowledge, spirit and confidence, such as the European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors (ENFEA), which highlights the role women can play in creating jobs and promoting competiveness by inspiring women and young girls to set up their own business through activities in schools, universities, community groups and the media.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(21b) Both female and male entrepreneurs should be offered opportunities for personal development and for further training in IT and languages, with the aim inter alia of promoting skills for the international market.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(21c) Whereas women may face barriers in rural areas in accessing information support and financial and technological tools and services which can severely limit their ability to start up, or expand their business. Therefore, this proposal should aim to be geographically inclusive by "getting the message out" through pro-active marketing campaigns that can deliver greater value for money for the European taxpayer, and rejuvenate run-down rural communities.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point a a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(aa) contributing to achieving the overarching priority of gender equality and the advancement and empowerment of women, and taking action to combat existing barriers to women entrepreneurs, including lack of access to finance, training and information technology, a difficulty in achieving work-life balance and negative cultural perceptions and stereotypes about women entrepreneurs;

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) encouraging an entrepreneurial culture and promoting the creation and growth of SMEs.

(b) encouraging a non gender-biased entrepreneurial culture and promoting the creation and growth of SMEs including among specific target groups, such as young people, women and marginalised communities.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) SME growth in terms of added-value and number of employees,

(d) SME growth in terms of added-value and number of employees, broken down by gender, ethnicity, age, area, size and length of business and in accordance with the Member States' rules on the protection of personal data,

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 – point d a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(da) positive increase in the number of women employees, especially in SMEs’ management and strategic direction,

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Programme shall support the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy and shall contribute to achieving the objective of ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’. In particular, the Programme shall contribute to the headline target concerning employment.

3. The Programme shall support the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy and shall contribute to achieving the objective of ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’. In particular, the Programme shall contribute to the headline target concerning employment, aiming for 75% employability of both men and women.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) To promote entrepreneurship, including among specific target groups;

(b) To promote entrepreneurship, including among specific target groups such as young people, women and marginalised communities;

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) To improve access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt;

(c) To improve access to finance for SMEs in the form of equity and debt and to provide information to and raise the awareness of potential beneficiaries including specific groups such as young people, women and marginalized communities;

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 2 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) measures to improve the design, implementation and evaluation of policies affecting the competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises, including disaster resilience, and to secure the development of appropriate infrastructures, world class clusters and business networks, framework conditions and development of sustainable products, services and processes;

(a) measures to improve the design, implementation and evaluation of policies affecting the competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises, including disaster resilience, and to secure the development of appropriate infrastructures in both urban and rural areas, world class clusters and business networks, framework conditions and development of sustainable products, services and processes;

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Particular attention shall be paid to young entrepreneurs, new and potential entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs, as well as specific target groups.

2. Particular attention shall be paid to young entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs from marginalised communities as well as new and potential entrepreneurs, both female and male, and to specific target groups such as young men and women.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Commission may support Member States' measures to build-up entrepreneurial education, skills and attitudes, in particular among potential and new entrepreneurs.

3. The Commission may support Member States' measures to build-up entrepreneurial education, skills and attitudes, in particular among potential and new female and male entrepreneurs. Particular support should be directed at women in rural areas.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall be assisted by a committee. That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

1. The Commission shall be assisted by a committee. That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011. The composition of the committee shall reflect gender balance by the implementation of gender quotas.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I - Specific objective: To promote entrepreneurship, including among specific target groups - column 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Increase of EU citizens that would like to be self employed to 50%

Increase of EU citizens that would like to be self employed to 50% (equally among men and women)

PROCEDURE

Title

Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (2014 - 2020)

References

COM(2011)0834 – C7-0463/2011 – 2011/0394(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ITRE

13.12.2011

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

FEMM

13.12.2011

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Marina Yannakoudakis

20.12.2011

Discussed in committee

10.7.2012

 

 

 

Date adopted

19.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

2

1

Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Andrea Češková, Marije Cornelissen, Edite Estrela, Iratxe García Pérez, Zita Gurmai, Mikael Gustafsson, Mary Honeyball, Lívia Járóka, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Astrid Lulling, Barbara Matera, Krisztina Morvai, Norica Nicolai, Antonyia Parvanova, Joanna Senyszyn, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Britta Thomsen, Marina Yannakoudakis, Anna Záborská, Inês Cristina Zuber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Minodora Cliveti, Silvia Costa, Mariya Gabriel, Kent Johansson, Christa Klaß, Ulrike Lunacek, Ana Miranda, Doris Pack, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Licia Ronzulli, Angelika Werthmann

(1)

In the EU 1 in 10 women are entrepreneurs as opposed to 1 in 4 men. European Parliament Resolution of 13 September 2011 by Marina Yannakoudakis MEP on Women Entrepreneurship in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

(2)

Eurostat, 8th February 2012.


PROCEDURE

Title

Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (2014 - 2020)

References

COM(2011)0834 – C7-0463/2011 – 2011/0394(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

30.11.2011

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ITRE

13.12.2011

 

 

 

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

13.12.2011

ECON

13.12.2011

EMPL

13.12.2011

IMCO

13.12.2011

 

TRAN

13.12.2011

FEMM

13.12.2011

 

 

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

ECON

17.1.2012

EMPL

15.12.2011

TRAN

19.12.2011

 

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Jürgen Creutzmann

17.1.2012

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

18.6.2012

18.9.2012

 

 

Date adopted

29.11.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

49

1

2

Members present for the final vote

Josefa Andrés Barea, Jean-Pierre Audy, Zigmantas Balčytis, Ivo Belet, Bendt Bendtsen, Jan Březina, Reinhard Bütikofer, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Giles Chichester, Jürgen Creutzmann, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Dimitrios Droutsas, Vicky Ford, Gaston Franco, Adam Gierek, Norbert Glante, Fiona Hall, Edit Herczog, Kent Johansson, Romana Jordan, Krišjānis Kariņš, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Judith A. Merkies, Angelika Niebler, Jaroslav Paška, Vittorio Prodi, Miloslav Ransdorf, Herbert Reul, Jens Rohde, Paul Rübig, Amalia Sartori, Salvador Sedó i Alabart, Francisco Sosa Wagner, Patrizia Toia, Catherine Trautmann, Ioannis A. Tsoukalas, Claude Turmes, Marita Ulvskog, Vladimir Urutchev, Alejo Vidal-Quadras

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Antonio Cancian, Ioan Enciu, Roger Helmer, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Seán Kelly, Bernd Lange, Zofija Mazej Kukovič, Alajos Mészáros, Vladimír Remek, Silvia-Adriana Ţicău, Henri Weber

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Keith Taylor

Date tabled

13.12.2012

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