The European Small Business Alliance very much welcomes today's vote in the European Parliament Plenary on amending Council Directive 78/660/EEC on the annual accounts of certain types of companies as regards micro-entities, otherwise known as the Lehne Report. The proposal, which exempts micro-businesses from having to draw up heavy annual accounts has been one of the European Commission's flagship initiatives in its efforts to reduce administrative burdens for SMEs. Put forward by the High Level Group on the Reduction of Administrative Burdens, the initiative is an important step towards helping micro-companies stay afloat and put the EU economy back on track. ESBA has been an active supporter of this initiative throughout the policy cycle. The Parliamentary report, drawn up my rapporteur Klaus-Heiner Lehne, faced a deadlock in the European Council through several presidencies. However, though difficult trialogue negotiations between Council, Commission and Parliament, the Institutions have finally managed to come to agreement and decided to give the exemption their green light.
ESBA President Tina Sommer said:
Today's decision by the European Parliament is an important one as this proposal is the first real concrete measure exempting micro-entities from disproportionally burdensome rules and regulations. In an ideal world, the Think Small First principle would be applied perfectly and micro-businesses would be taken as a vantage point for any new piece of regulation, making exemptions obsolete. However, in the real world this is not the case and Europe's smallest businesses continue to suffer. This is where exemptions need to be seen as a valid and justified means to alleviate unnecessary burdens. Today's decision has been an important step towards acknowledging this fact. We congratulate Mr. Lehne on this success.