Vote on COSME marks important step towards competitiveness of EU SMEs.
Today, the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted the report by German MEP JÃ¼rgen Creutzmann on the new Programme for the Competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses. The report explicitly lists the programme's intention to provide support to micro-, small and medium-sized businesses in all stages of their development. Under COSME, the European Commission will develop measures to reduce the administrative burden on businesses and to support the internationalisation of Europe's SMEs. Most benefits are however expected from the financial instruments. Through the specific Loan Guarantee Facility and the Equity Facility for Growth, micro- and small businesses will be supported in their start-up, growth and transfer phases. Although the final budget of the programme will depend on the negotiations of the EU's overall Multi-annual Financial Framework, the report calls for 0.5% of the upcoming budget to be allocated to the newly established COSME programme.
Patrick Gibbels, Secretary General says:
ESBA welcomes today's vote on COSME as an important step in regaining the competitiveness of Europe's SMEs. In particular the financial instruments are vital in mitigating the effects of the crisis and have the potential to increase the much needed access to finance for micro- and small business. ESBA warns however against the overreliance on venture capital elements of the programme, as its relevance is restricted to the small percentage of highly innovative SMEs. It is the more accessible debt financing such as loan guarantee schemes that will benefit most of our small businesses.