Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Access to finance for small businesses - EU Single Market Act

In the article Single Market Act COM(2011) 206 we looked at the twelve levers for growth and the key action for each.

Access to finance for SMEs

The first lever in the Single Market Act (SMA) (page 6-7) is Access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). One of the promises was:

SME financing will be the subject of an action plan. It will cover not only access to different financing sources but also SME financing tools directly and the creation of an environment that is conducive to development and growth for SMEs.

SMEs' access to finance

We fast-forward to 7 December 2011, when the DG Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) published the latest SMEs' Access to Finance Survey 2011: short summary and full analytical report.

Action plan for SME finance

On the same day the Commission published (MEMO/11/879) EU Action Plan: helping SMEs access more financial resources, which offers a quick overview of the proposed actions.

For more detail there is the communication from the Commission:

An action plan to improve access to finance for SMEs; Brussels, 7.12.2011 COM(2011) 870 final
(15 pages; available in 22 EU languages), as well as the

Commission staff working paper Accompanying the document An action plan to improve access to finance for SMEs; Brussels, 7.12.2011 SEC(2011) 1527 final

Ralf Grahn
public speaker on EU affairs

P.S. The multilingual already aggregates the posts from 943 Euroblogs. They represent an important part of the emerging European online public sphere, discussion across national and linguistic borders. One of the most promising fresh entrants is the LSE European Politics and Policy EUROPP blog, where Gareth Harding stated that the European Union is losing the battle for the hearts and minds of its citizens, but also handed out advice on how to turn the tide.

Among the Euroblogs on you find my current blog trio, Grahnlaw (recently ranked fourth among political blogs in Finland), the Nordic Grahnblawg (written in Swedish) and Eurooppaoikeus (meaning European Law, in Finnish). I write and speak about democracy and openness in the European Union, but increasingly about the crucial challenges of the global era for Europe: growth (EU2020) and the (digital) single market in the making.