Support for debt recovery across borders
Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are reluctant to operate outside the borders of their own country, as they are afraid of encountering burdensome procedures when trying to claim payments for their products and services. SMEs often find it too daunting, complicated or expensive – because of consulting fees, legal counsel, document translation, etc. – to pursue legal action against companies or individuals in other Member States.
EC helps SMEs enter Asian market
As one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, Southeast Asia offers a wealth of opportunity for European businesses eyeing foreign markets. But despite the potential for growth, the region also poses numerous challenges, including different attitudes towards intellectual property rights. To help European SMEs navigate these differences, the Commission is excited to launch the ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk.
Giving SMEs tools to combat late payments
Both inside and outside their own borders, European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are particularly vulnerable to late payments – one of the leading causes of bankruptcy among SMEs. The lack of protection for SMEs not only cripples businesses and stalls economic growth, but might also discourage would-be entrepreneurs from taking chances. This is why the European Commission has introduced multiple proposals to give SMEs the help they need to inject more dynamism in Europe’s economy.
Avoiding damage from space debris
Space debris poses a risk to our space infrastructure and to the space services we rely on in our daily lives. European satellite operators lose roughly €140 million per year due to collisions, and that total will rise to about €210 million within the next decade. Therefore, the European Commission has introduced measures to help EU Member States combine their space surveillance and tracking (SST) technology. The proposed European SST service will allow Member States to locate and monitor satellites and dangerous debris, alert satellite operators of collision risks and notify public administrations of so-called uncontrolled re-entries.
Where are we with new partnership for EU industry?
Following the creation of its blueprint for raising industry’s contribution to EU GDP from 16 % to 20 % by 2020, the European Commission will host a conference on Industrial Policy on 6 June in Brussels. By bringing together political leaders, business people and industry experts, the conference will focus on progress made so far, as well as further action that can bring immediate benefits to help restore industrial growth.
EU gives top priority to helping SMEs create jobs
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are Europe’s job engine. Today, 85% of net new jobs in the EU’s private sector are created by SMEs. Thus, the EU has developed a number of concrete actions to promote a better economic environment for the 21 million SMEs in the EU, and support their efforts for creating new jobs.
High-end products in Europe: combining cultural heritage and economic growth
European brands account for at least 70 % of the global high-end goods market. And while high-end products are usually associated with fashion, the sector consists of a wide range of products and services: cars, yachts, furniture, wines, spirits and more. The European Commission is committed to ensuring Europe’s high-end sector continues to thrive.
Construction: Single market made easy for companies
Construction companies wishing to expand their business to another EU Member State need to know the challenges they might face. Employment, environmental and safety requirements may differ, quite like those for construction materials and products. The European Commission has launched several initiatives to help enterprises overcome these difficulties, equipping construction companies with the information they need to be successful in other EU countries.
NANDO: Conformity assessments ensure safe products
For almost 30 years, products have been circulating freely in Europe based on the simple condition that producers can guarantee their products (e.g., hair dryers, toys, smartphones, TVs, washing machines, etc.) are safe. One of the ways in which this is achieved is to have the products tested and certified against the ’essential requirements’ of the applicable legislation by the bodies listed in the database called NANDO. These organisations provide conformity assessment services both inside and outside the EU, and thus protect Europe’s citizens and businesses.
Preventing obstacles to trade before they arise
Although we enjoy the free movement of goods in the internal market, more than 15 000 national technical regulations can make it difficult for enterprises to sell their products – from bicycles to foodstuffs – in other Member States. However, there is a preventive tool which enables enterprises to anticipate the creation of such barriers to trade: the notification procedure under Directive 98/34/EC, which requires new technical regulations to be put on hold before being adopted in order to avoid obstacles to trade.
Tajani: Common charger for small electronic devices
A recent report shows that the European Commission’s 2009 initiative to harmonise chargers for mobile phones is yielding results. Thanks to the agreement, which was reached with mobile phone manufacturers through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the vast majority of new devices placed on the market today support a compatible charger based on Micro-USB technology. Unfortunately, the MoU expired at the end of 2012. But in an interview with Enterprise & Industry Magazine, European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani explains that the Commission’s ambition to harmonise chargers has no expiration date.
Fashion: where manufacturing meets creativity
The fashion industry is responsible for more than just the latest trends. Between retail outlets, manufacturers and links in the supply chain, Europe’s fashion sector accounts for hundreds of thousands of companies and millions of jobs. The Commission is taking the necessary steps to ensure that the industry continues to thrive, including eliminating trade barriers, protecting intellectual property and facilitating entry into international markets.
Missions for Growth: EU businesses benefit from emerging markets
The world’s fastest growing economies are not in Europe. And that’s why the European Commission is committed to opening doors for European enterprises around the globe. The Commission has sent representatives and business delegations to emerging markets in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The insights they gain will help EU SMEs capitalise on external growth – which, in turn, will spur growth here in Europe.
EC helps SMEs land safely in China
China has become a key market for SMEs hoping to make a splash overseas. Even so, China poses a series of challenges, including problems with protection of intellectual property rights and a dizzying web of regulations. But the China IPR Helpdesk, the EU SME Centre and the European Enterprise Network are here to help by bringing the risks – and rewards – of the Chinese market into focus.
Avoiding barriers to global trade
While all countries have the right to adopt technical regulations to achieve legitimate purposes (e.g. ensuring public health or protecting the environment and consumers) the TBT Agreement (Technical Barriers to Trade) helps prevent unfair, protectionist measures. Administered by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the TBT Agreement alerts European businesses about potential new regulations and encourages global harmonisation and mutual recognition. European businesses can contribute to work of the European Commission on avoiding technical barriers to trade. This collaboration benefits enterprises large and small. The resulting collaboration benefits enterprises large and small.
EU and China agree to improve toy safety
Because toys are for children, it is important to have additional regulations to ensure safety. That’s why the Netherlands – one of the EU’s main entry points for toys – has teamed up with China – one of the EU’s main sources of toy imports –signed an action plan called, ‘Cooperation in the field of toy safety’. The resulting collaboration will promote toy safety and, by extension, promote child safety.
Mobile technologies personalise tourism
The European Mobile and Mobility Industries Alliance (EMMIA), which brings together regional and national policymakers and practitioners at European level, is helping European tourists make the most of their excursions. By taking advantage of cutting-edge mobile technologies, the EMMIA is making remote destinations accessible, bolstering local economies and creating unforgettable trips.
Robot preps for space – in Spain
The European Commission is promoting future space exploration with the Planetary Robotics Vision Scout project, or PRoViScout. As a collaborative EU project, PRoViScout unites major European groups working to create robotic vision for planetary space exploration. The result is futuristic technology – today.
EU/US Transatlantic cooperation: Helping SMEs go international
Helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) tap into markets on the other side of the Atlantic was the central topic of the fourth European Union-United States SME Workshop, held in Washington, DC, on December 3 and 4, 2012. At the workshop, two business support networks – the EC’s Enterprise Europe Network and the US International Trade Administration – signed a Memorandum of Understanding on promoting cooperation. Specific areas for cooperation include the promotion of SME events and business partnering activities, participation in sector-specific or thematic seminars and the exchange of information on SME networking opportunities.
Industrial revolution brings industry back to Europe
Europe needs its real economy now more than ever to underpin our ongoing economic recovery. As such, EU actions will be designed to reverse the current downward trend and to promote the reindustrialisation of Europe. Industry currently accounts for about 16% of EU GDP. Therefore, the European Commission has set its goal that industry's share of GDP should be around 20% by 2020.