- European Commission, Enterprise Directorate General.
In 2000, the Commission set up an expert group on transfer of business to monitor the implementation of the 1994 Recommendation. The tasks of the group included identification of new legal, tax and support measures taken since the 1998 Communication, assessment of the measures taken, analysis of the provision of support measures and proposals for further action. More information on the Best procedure projects
According to the final report of the expert group barely half of the 21 tax and legal measures that small businesses need to survive changes of ownership are in place, eight years after they were set out in the 1994 Commission Recommendation. Yet the same experts estimate that roughly one-third of all EU companies will change hands over the next 10 years (from 25-40%, depending on the Member State). This means an average of 610,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will change hands each year, potentially affecting 2.4 million jobs (Data for EU 15).