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Wednesday, 21 April 2004 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Programme for enterprise and entrepreneurship

  Montfort (PPE-DE ). (FR) Mr President, Commissioner, the Rübig report does not pose any problems. It proposes adjusting the financial measures for companies and modifying the multi-annual programme for enterprise and entrepreneurship for which I was rapporteur. I hope that this report finally marks the will of the Commission to take into account the needs of SMEs for risk capital, start-up aid and transfer of business, as you said, Commissioner. All of these programmes are still insufficient to achieve the Lisbon objectives, which are nevertheless reaffirmed each year at the Spring Summit. I will not elaborate further. As this is, however, our last sitting and I will undoubtedly not be in the next Parliament, unfortunately, I would like to emphatically state again what my colleagues in the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats in the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy and I have always advocated.

First of all, I hope that the European Charter for small enterprises will finally have legal status. Our companies need it to be implemented, as was stated at the Barcelona Summit. What is the Commission’s opinion, Commissioner? Secondly, our companies, both small and medium-sized, and whatever their sector, innovative, traditional or small-scale, need access to the research and development programmes. This is not an option, but an obligation in order for them to remain competitive, dynamic and effective, as you just said, Commissioner. Finally, these companies need advice, cooperation and dialogue. There are professional organisations that support these small and medium-sized enterprises. Does the Commission intend to consider them as genuine partners when drawing up new programmes?

This is how our companies will be able to respond to the challenge of growth and employment, our young people will be able to take on the culture and spirit of enterprise and Europe, finally reunified, will be the most dynamic area in the world so that every citizen can find their place in it.

Last updated: 10 August 2004Legal notice