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Magazine Ei 01 En

Magazine Ei 01 En

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Published by Glauka

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Published by: Glauka on Sep 30, 2009
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July 2008
European Commission
Small Business Act:making lie easieror SMEs
REACH: pre-register your chemicalsby 1 December 2008Protecting yourIntellectual Property Rights in China
Enterprise & Industry
July 2008
EditorialEnterprise & Industry
July 2008
Enterprise & Industry 
magazine is published three times a year, in English,French and German, complementing the on-line magazine of the EuropeanCommission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry. The magazine is financed under the Competitiveness andInnovation Framework Programme which aims to encouragethe competitiveness of European enterprises.
Published by 
Communication and Information UnitDirectorate-General for Enterprise and IndustryEuropean CommissionB-1049 Brusselsentr-communication-information@ec.europa.euwww.ec.europa.eu/enterprise/e_i/index_en.htm
Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on its behalf may beheld responsible for the use to which information contained in this publicationmay be put, nor for any errors which may appear despite careful preparationand checking. This publication does not necessarily reflect the view or theposition of the European Commission.
Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2008
ISSN 1831-1237© European Communities, 2008Reproduction is authorised, provided the source is acknowledged, save whereotherwise stated.For use/reproduction of third-party copyright material specified as suchpermission must be obtained from the copyright holder(s).Front cover image © Tobias KaltenbachPrinted in Belgium
Small Business Act: making life easier for European enterprises
  The Commission’s SME Envoy
 Boost to Internal Market or goods 
 Access to fnance or SMEs
 Sotening the stigma o insolvency
 Protecting your Intellectual Property Rights in China
 Cosmetics saety rules to be rejuvenated
 Six-month window or REACH pre-registrations
 Space or European innovation
 News in brie & upcoming events
The new 
Enterprise & Industry
on-line and print magazine brings readers
timely and up-to-date information on the activities of the EuropeanCommission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry.
his is the first edition of the new
Enterprise & Industry 
magazine,which will keep you informedon the work the European Commissionis doing to make the EuropeanUnion a better place for business andentrepreneurs to operate.In this issue: the contribution small andmedium-sized enterprises (SMEs) maketo economic growth, and to the creationof new, good-quality jobs is now morewidely appreciated than ever. Whilst theEuropean Commission and EU MemberStates have done much to improve thebusiness environment, by reducing redtape, encouraging entrepreneurshipand fostering opportunities within theEU’s Single Market, there is still moreto be done.
 The Small Business Act (SBA), just adoptedby the European Commission, comprises arange o measures at EU level to make liebetter or enterprises. Just as importantly,since the majority o the hindranceswhich daily discourage entrepreneurs andbusiness are closer to home than Brussels,public authorities at all levels across theUnion need to take parallel measures insupport o SMEs. With the Small BusinessAct, the European Commission will continueto press or coherent, coordinated actionsacross Europe to enable enterprisesto lourish.In this edition, we also look at research inthe space ield, at simpliied rules or thecosmetics sector, at new legislation toimprove the European Single Market orgoods, at a new initiative to raise awarenesso EU inancial instruments available orSMEs, and at a service to inorm businessestrading with China about managing theirIntellectual Property Rights.I you like what you read in our newmagazine, why not subscribe? It costs younothing; simply turn to the back cover ordetails o how to subscribe. And visit ourregularly updated on-line magazine, too
    ©    H   o    H   o    K   e   e
Enterprise & Industry
July 2008
SMEs and Entrepreneurship
SMEs and EntrepreneurshipEnterprise & Industry
July 2008
ore than 75 million Europeans work in small andmedium-sized enterprises (SMEs), accounting forsome three-fifths of industrial jobs in the EuropeanUnion. The 23 million SMEs in the EU – in comparison thereare just 41 000 large firms – are of great importance for theeconomy and society, but even more significant today is theirrole in creating new jobs: two in three new jobs are in SMEs.As Europe’s economy continues to shift towards one basedon the knowledge and skills of its people, SMEs are the mainsource of high-quality jobs, in which such skills are best used.
In any organism, the acility or renewal is vital, and SMEs play thatrole in the economy. At whatever level we look – rom Europe as awhole to small towns and villages – lourishing societies in whichpeople are happy to live require a steady supply o entrepreneurswilling to create and grow small enterprises. Continually launchingnew irms, and bringing new blood to boost existing irms,is essential to ensure that we have suicient good-quality jobs orthose who want them and that the standard o living continues toimprove across society.
Growing impact
 The importance o SMEs has long been recognised by the EuropeanCommission, and a wide range o policies and support instrumentshave been developed and implemented over many years.With the “modern SME policy”, in 2005, the Commission underlinedthe need to coordinate eorts across all policy-making ields better.SME policy could no longer be seen as a distinct area, but shouldbe integral to all policies, rom transport and environment to
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are at the heart of Europe’s economy. Creating more new firmsand nurturing them is essential if Europe is to maintain its competitive position in the global economy,and continue to make sure that its citizens benefit from an ever-improving quality of life. The EuropeanCommission has adopted the Small Business Act, with the aim of ensuring that public authorities – fromthe Union down to regional and local government across Europe – redouble their efforts to build a society in which small enterprises can thrive.
employment or health. Introducing the “think small irst”principle,the Commission sought to encourage all policy-makers to considerthe impact o their activities on SMEs rom the outset.But more needs to be done to deliver a business environment inwhich SMEs can lourish. The Small Business Act (SBA), adoptedin June by the European Commission, ater a wide-ranging publicconsultation, has two elements: a package o legislative proposalsand initiatives at EU level, several o which are set out in more detailon the ollowing pages; and a set o principles which need also toorm the basis o action by policy-makers at national, regional andlocal level across Europe.“With the Small Business Act, we are taking SME policy severalsteps orward,”says Mechthild Woersdoerer, head o the SME PolicyDevelopment Unit in the Commission’s Directorate-General orEnterprise and Industry. “It is certainly the case that there is greaterpolitical attention on SME policy than ever beore, with the March2008 European Council calling or swit adoption o the SBA, and wewant to use that political support to make real improvements in thebusiness environment or SMEs.”
Propitious environment
 The burden o administration and regulation – dealing with red tape– is the biggest complaint o SMEs when it comes to hindrances totheir business. Many believe that policy-makers should dierentiatebetween large and small enterprises in their initiatives andlegislation. They could, or example, ensure that SMEs need onlyulil a simpler set o procedures and requirements than their largercounterparts. The Commission avours the use o speciic measuresor small and micro-enterprises, which make it easier or them toulil statutory requirements without compromising the aims o legislation. One example would be to exempt micro-enterprisesrom the need to ollow EU accounting rules, drawn up largely orbigger irms which trade extensively in the Single Market.Legislation aecting SMEs needs not only to be ramed takingaccount o their needs, but should also be easily understood andapplied. The principle o common commencement dates, alreadyused in some Member States, would enable SMEs to organisethemselves better to respect changes in regulation, knowing thatsuch changes would only be applied rom a couple o ixed dateseach year. Governments need also to stop dierent arms o publicadministrations making repeated requests or the same inormationrom enterprises.
People business
Any successul enterprise is only so because o the eorts o thepeople within it. For many small irms, particularly start-ups,the ounders literally are the enterprise, but too oten they receivescant recognition or their eorts. Europeans are less likely toconsider setting up their own businesses than are, or example,Americans. More widely, much o European society – includingthe politicians and media whose opinions are heard most loudly –currently seems reluctant to recognise the contribution business,and entrepreneurs in particular, makes to the economy and thus toquality o lie in general.
“We need to find ways to improve the image of entrepreneursand business in Europe,”underlines Woersdoerfer. “Througheducation and the media, we can encourage more people to startup businesses. In particular, we want to encourage more women, aswell as people from ethnic minorities and migrant groups – currentlyunderrepresented in business – to consider selfemployment.
More effective tools to get clients to pay on time
For many small firms, delays by their clients in paying for work that has already been done, or for goods already supplied, cause massivecash-flow problems. When customers do not pay on time, SMEs find it impossible to pay staff and suppliers, as well as overheads like rent or electricity.Surveys show that a majority of late payments to small firms are either deliberate or the result of administrative failings. Moreover, late payers are more likely to be large firms or public authorities, rather than fellow SMEs. This means, in effect, that small firms are providingtheir customers with interest-free credit worth more than €20 billion in aggregate. Difficulty in recovering debts outside their home country is cited by many small firms as a disincentive to trade in the Single Market.In force since 2002, EU legislation means that penalty interest should automatically be imposed whenever payments are delayed beyond 30 days (unless both parties agreed to different terms). However, the rules have not been as effective as desired in reducing late payments,and so the Commission is currently consulting the public on possible revisions to this legislation. Amongst ideas being considered are whether a higher rate of punitive interest would encourage prompter payment, what mechanisms are needed to enforce the rules and ensure interest due is paid, and whether specific mechanisms are needed to help micro-enterprises get paid on time.
    ©    T   o    b    i   a   s    K   a    l   t   e   n    b   a   c    h

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