‘SMEs growth de­pends on the right eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial en­vi­ron­ment’ MEP Mar­lene Mizzi

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

MEP Mar­lene Mizzi urged the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and the Mem­ber States to cre­ate the right en­vi­ron­ment for growth and ex­pan­sion of SMEs and to im­prove their ac­cess to af­ford­able fi­nance.

Dur­ing the last ple­nary ses­sion in Strasbourg, Mem­bers of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment adopted a num­ber of re­ports fo­cused on en­hanc­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness of Euro­pean SMEs. In one of her in­ter­ven­tions Mar­lene Mizzi em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of set­ting the right en­vi­ron­ment and cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for SMEs and start-ups.

“SMEs and mi­croen­ter­prises ac­count for 99% of all EU busi­nesses and pro­vide about two thirds of em­ploy­ment in Europe. They are the back­bone of the EU econ­omy and are re­spon­si­ble for 85 % of newly cre­ated jobs. This makes them an in­dis­pens­able tool in sta­bil­is­ing the Euro­pean econ­omy and in cre­at­ing sus­tain­able jobs and growth in Europe. Cre­at­ing the right en­vi­ron­ment and pro­tect­ing SMEs in Europe is a must,” said MEP Mizzi.

MEP Mizzi pointed out that one of the big­gest chal­lenges SMEs en­counter on a daily ba­sis is the dif­fi­cult ac­cess to af­ford­able fi­nance.

“The cur­rent in­stru­ments are in­suf­fi­cient, and do not pro­vide SMEs with the nec­es­sary means to fi­nance. Banks are also re­luc­tant to fi­nance busi­nesses, es­pe­cially if they are start-ups or if they are at an early stage of their ex­pan­sion ac­tiv­i­ties. This presents a Catch 22 sit­u­a­tion which many SMEs find them­selves in they can­not grow or start be­cause they do not have the finds, and funds are not given to them be­cause they are not es­tab­lished. Such a sit­u­a­tion is a damper on en­tre­pre­neur­ial tal­ent and job cre­ation pos­si­bil­i­ties,” com­mented MEP Mizzi.

“SMEs are not only per­sis­tently faced with cash-flow con­straints, but also with many other lim­i­ta­tions such as red tape and ad­min­is­tra­tive costs. That is why, the Com­mis­sion and Mem­ber States should pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to im­prov­ing ac­cess to fi­nance, as well as to sim­pli­fy­ing the rel­e­vant ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures, pro­vid­ing con­tin­u­ous in­for­ma­tion and train­ing on projects and im­prov­ing the role of lo­cal govern­ments in charge for the proper uti­liza­tion of EU funds,” said MEP Mar­lene Mizzi.

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