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Parliamentary questions
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7 July 2020
Answer given by Mr Breton
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001519/2020

The Commission Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Strategy(1) includes measures to cut further red tape in connection with digitalisation. The single digital gateway will facilitate online access to the information, administrative procedures and assistance services that SMEs need to get active in another EU country. Member States are encouraged to implement it in an SME-friendly way and linking their services in a one-stop-shop.

As regards public procurement, the Commission encourages Member States to use digital platforms to stimulate innovative solutions from SMEs and start-ups and their cross-border access to public procurement contracts.

To bring the Digital Europe Programme and the COSME programme (Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs) closer to SMEs needs, the Digital Innovation Hubs in connection with Startup Europe and the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) will be expanded to provide a seamless service within local and regional ecosystems.

To reduce red tape and ensure that new legislation is SME-friendly, the EU SME Envoy will filter EU initiatives in collaboration with the national SME Envoys and SME stakeholders. Support schemes for SMEs are proposed under Horizon Europe. All instruments are built upon experiences from Horizon 2020 or initiated with the overall objective to facilitate SMEs in their innovative development. Support is of different types: reduced documentation in application forms and required documentation, self-assessment of the SME eligibility criteria online and facilitation of access to funding, particular within Pillar III, under the European Innovation Council.

EEN will continue to encourage and support SMEs to participate in Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe calls, to bring them in contact with potential project partners and help them access EU financial instruments.

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