EU to cut bureaucracy on SMEs

EU commissioner Mr. Günter Verheugen in a comprehensive statement published by the Hamburger Abendblatt magazine has voiced his personal view on the importance of SMEs for Europe. He is convinced that the real job generators in the EU are the 23 million small and medium-sized entities.

SMEs are more seriously hit by overregulation than major enterprises, says Verheugen. For that reason the EU intended to cut bureaucracy costs by 25 percent for SMEs. The Commission is said to check all new EU guidelines for their compatibility with the interests of SMEs. In addition, more than 70 incompatible drafts had in the meantime already been withdrawn and complicated customs regulations and forms had been simplified. Over the next three years to come another 1400 regulations are said to be simplified.

Introducing new intelligent laws the EU wants to create further facilitations such as an online-payment solution for European-wide transactions, which is to create an »one-stop-shop«. Another objective consists in the creation of a legal infrastructure which makes it possible to set up an European-wide company within one week and one single office to turn to.

Verheugen deplores that only a minority of Europeans want to be entrepreneurs (45 percent), whereas this number amounts to 61 percent in the US. Yet, according to him, the EU needs more entrepreneurs. What deters potential entrepreneurs in the EU were excessive taxation, overregulation, less social security as compared to employees and the consequences of an insolvency which are much more unpleasant and final in Europe than in many other OECD countries. The article is available here. GERMAN