For some time, addressing the difficulties and delays experienced in setting up a new enterprise has been a policy priority. The European Commission published a Recommendation in this area in 1997.
More recently, the Lisbon European Council called for a “benchmarking exercise on issues such as the length of time and the costs involved in setting up a company”.
Under the Multi-Annual Programme for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, and in particular the Best Procedure, the European Commission responded to this call by launching a project to establish benchmarks relating to the principal performance indicators in the mandatory procedures for setting up a new business in all EU Member States.
The specific aims of the exercise were to: