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Increasing competitiveness and growth: the EU Program for SMEs

Providing 85% of all new jobs, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Europe’s economy. Running from 2014 to 2020, the EU Program for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) aims to promote entrepreneurship and improve the business environment for SMEs, to unleash their full potential in today’s global economy.

With a planned budget of €2.3bn, COSME will free up funding for SMEs through different financial instruments and it will help small businesses create goods, services and jobs facilitating access to markets, improving framework conditions for entrepreneurial culture spread, business creation, growth and competitiveness by means of entrepreneurship education, too. As a result, implementing the successful programs already in place, such as Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs and European Enterprise Network and simplifying the strict regulation that affect SMEs, the Program will promote the exchange of best practices in SMEs policies and encourage internationalization, as well as Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) Helpdesks for China, ASEAN and MERCOSUR.

We have to better integrate competitiveness in all policy areas, at EU and national level. – said Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, during her speech for the European Voice conference held in November 2014 – To achieve the objective of growth and competitiveness we need to support the real economy and the internal market for goods and services, fully exploiting public procurement and the major opportunities the digital Single Market offers”. “The impact will be enormous. – said Vice-President Antonio Tajani, explaining what the Commission hopes to achieve with COSME, in September 2013 – Each year, COSME is expected to contribute to an increase in the EU’s GDP by €1.1bn, and assist 40 000 firms in creating or saving 30 000 jobs and launching 1 200 new business products, services or processes”.