SME competiveness: MEPs to call for small company loans at big company rates  

To kick-start growth, EU countries should simplify start-up requirements for new firms and help SMEs to borrow at the same low rates as big ones, says a draft resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday. The text advocates stepping up the use of EU regional development funds -to boost small business competiveness and expand export markets and the green economy.

The EU’s 23 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up about 99% of all its businesses, and provide over 100 million jobs. They have been allocated €140 billion out of the EU’s €350 billion regional (“cohesion”) policy budget for 2014-2020.

In 2007-2013, EU cohesion policy funding for SMEs, amounting to €70 billion, helped them to create over 263,000 jobs.

Enhancing cross-border cooperation in neighbouring regions

MEPs will debate and vote on a separate resolution on the European Territorial Cooperation tool, stressing its effectiveness in areas such as research, transport and mobility and the need to further develop its potential by increasing its role in post-2020 cohesion policy.

Smart specialisation strategies

MEPs will also vote a separate non-legislative resolution asking EU countries to improve implementation and monitoring of “smart specialisation strategies” (RIS3 or S3) which form the backbone of national or regional research and innovation strategic policy frameworks in Europe.

Procedure: non-legislative resolutions
2015/2282(INI) - enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs

2015/2280(INI) - European territorial cooperation
Debate: Monday, 12 September
Vote: Tuesday, 13 September