Thursday, 22 March 2012

EU action plan to improve access to finance for SMEs

The article Access to finance for small businesses – EU Single Market Act brought us to the SMA related Communication from the European 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)

In a nutshell (page 1):

The Commission is presenting in this Action Plan the various policies that it is pursuing to make access to finance easier for Europe's 23 million SMEs and to provide a significant contribution to growth.

The Action Plan promises regulatory, financial and other measures to improve the access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).


SEC(2011) 1527

The action plan was accompanied by:

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 (13 pages; only in English)

The paper discusses the conditions: SMEs' access to lending, venture capital and equity. It then presents EU financial measures for SMEs 2007-2013, before conveniently listing current and planned actions to improve access to finance.


Next steps

The Danish presidency of the EU Council has prepared a note on the follow-up to the recent meetings of the European Council (summits), including the growth agenda, where issues related to the single market are seen as top priorities:

European Council - Follow-up by the Council; Brussels, 19 March 2012 document 7824/12

Paragraph 3 on page 2 offers the following view:

3. The COMPET Council will report in May, as requested by the members of the European Council at their informal meeting of 30 January 2012, on implementation of measures to be taken at European level for boosting the access to finance for SMEs. In this context he COSME programme will be discussed at the May COMPET Council and work will be taken forward rapidly on the legislative proposal for the creation of a EU-wide venture capital regime (part of the twelve priority levers of the Single Market Act).

Here is some introductory information about the proposed Programme for Competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs (COSME) 2014-2020, with further links for those interested.



Ralf Grahn
public speaker on EU affairs

P.S. The multilingual Bloggingportal.eu already aggregates the posts from 944 Euroblogs. They represent an important part of the emerging European online public sphere, discussion across national and linguistic borders. In addition to its other activities, the economic think tank Bruegel runs the collective quality Bruegel blog, divided into thematic sections. Recommended reading.

Among the Euroblogs on Bloggingportal.eu 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.