Nieuws-items bij Ondernemen over de grenzen
04-06-2012Commissie komt met voorstel verordening voor grensoverschrijdende, veilige elektronische transacties binnen EU (en)
31-05-2012Conceptwetten om toegang tot durfkapitaal en ondernemersfondsen te vergemakkelijken (en)
28-05-2012Eurocommissaris Antonia Tajani bezoekt de VS, Mexico en Colombia voor het MKB (en)
27-05-2012Winnaars van de Europese Business Awards voor het Milieu 2012
08-05-2012Hulp bij bescherming van je intellectuele eigendom in China (en)
04-05-2012Deens voorzitterschap: conferentie over ondernemen en mensenrechten (en)
30-04-2012Europees midden- en kleinbedrijf moeite met krijgen van leningen (en)
30-04-2012Europese Cluster Conferentie neemt Cluster manifest aan (en)
26-04-2012Europees bedrijfsklimaat verslechterde in april 2012 (en)
23-04-2012EU wil coöperaties meer mogelijkheden geven (en)
23-04-2012Nieuwe standaarden vastgesteld voor verschillende apparaten (en)
23-04-2012EU en VN benadrukken het belang van coöperatieve verenigingen (en)
19-04-2012Vennootschapsbelasting: EP dringt aan op een verplichte gezamenlijke regeling (en)
19-04-2012Eurocommissaris Tajani: EU ondersteuning voor kleine bedrijven in Griekenland (en)
29-03-2012Europees MKB wil deelnemen aan overheidsopdrachten (en)
28-03-2012EIB verwelkomt resultaten rapport over steun voor kleine ondernemingen in ontwikkelingslanden (en)
28-03-2012Nieuwe initiatieven om kleine ondernemingen te helpen internationaliseren (en)
28-03-2012Nieuwe initiatieven om kleine ondernemingen te helpen bij internationale uitbreiding (en)
21-03-2012Europees Parlement wil vennootschapsbelasting harmoniseren (en)
21-03-2012Europese Commissie wil zakelijke mogelijkheden aanbestedingsmarkten verbeteren (en)
The Hungarian Presidency trusts that agreement will be reached on European private company, Minister of State Cséfalvay said in an interview to eu2011.hu prior to the Competitiveness Council on 30-31 March. Ministers will discuss on SMEs, the implementation of unitary patent, and the European Research Area.
The Single Market Act is perhaps the most important topic on the agenda of the next meeting of the Competitiveness Council. The ministers will adopt conclusions on the communication of the Commission including 12 specific actions. What do you expect from the debate, are you satisfied with the proposals of the Commission?
Both as the current holder of the EU Presidency and as a Member State, Hungary has assigned special importance to the Commission’s proposals, since the implementation of the Single Market Act could accelerate and deepen market integration. Therefore, it could contribute not only to Europe’s long-term competitiveness but also to its faster recovery from the economic crisis.
The major part of the key actions, which were proposed by the Committee, also fully matches the priorities of Hungary. The development of cross-border transport networks or assistance and the provision of capital to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), are essential for the Hungarian economy as well. Based on the negotiations, I trust that the Competitiveness Council will accept the conclusions, and then we will be in the position to focus on implementing the actions.
Both the latest informal Council meeting and a subsequent Presidential conference dealt with SMEs issues. How does the Council assess the informal debates on the Small Business Act and smart regulation?
The ministers participating in the informal meeting all agreed that in addition to putting public finances in order and achieving financial stabilisation, our primary need is for “the creation of a growth-friendly entrepreneurial environment.” The provision of access to resources, internal and external markets, and the strengthening of entrepreneurial spirit were identified as the most important areas, which is also reflected in the document to be accepted in the May’s meeting of the Council.
The implementation of the basic principles that were formerly developed for smart regulations contributes to the improvement of business environment. Member States have agreed that special attention should be given to SMEs during legislation, both at national and EU level. Member States have appointed their SME Envoys, who will supervise this process.
There is a fierce debate among Member States concerning the proposed regulation on the European private company. Will the Presidency put this issue on the agenda?
Over the past five months, together with my colleagues, we have invested considerable energy into restarting and accomplishing - possibly during the term of the Hungarian Presidency - the Council negotiations on the European private company, which has been in place since the end of 2009. The Hungarian Presidency has developed a new compromise proposal that was clearly received favourably by both the Commission and Member States.
We have exercised our best efforts to make the compromise proposal acceptable, also for countries which had rejected the proposal in its original form in 2009; and despite the remaining open issues, we have never been this close to reaching an agreement. Only the ministers may conclude the necessary political compromises, and this meeting of the Council could mean our last chance for this within the foreseeable future. I hope that every Member State will acknowledge the significance of this, since European private company could be an important tool in the support of the competitiveness and mobility of European SMEs.
The improvement of business environment is a top priority of the Hungarian Presidency. The draft directive simplifying the reporting rules for micro-enterprises, also serves this purpose, about which a political agreement is expected in the meeting of the Council. Could you summarise the essence of this legislation?
The purpose of the proposal is to introduce a lighter financial reporting regime for the smallest enterprises with limited liability - micro-entities in the terminology of the proposal , since administrative burden on these enterprises, which have only a few employees, is often disproportionately large.
Under the Hungarian Presidency’s proposal, Member States could exempt micro-entities from certain accounting reporting obligations imposed by the Union. For example, the smallest entities will not necessarily have to draw up annual supplement and business report; and the publication of annual accounts could be further simplified.
The proposal will enable micro-entities to use simplified balance sheet as well as profit and loss statement accounts. According to our calculations, in total these simplifications could create savings amounting to billions of forints for the Hungarian small enterprise sector.
Since in March the Council granted authorisation for the launch of enhanced cooperation aimed at the creation of unitary patent protection, the implementation statutes are submitted to the ministers. Do you expect meaningful progress on this matter, since there is no agreement amongst Member States on the distribution of the patent maintenance fees?
Since the Commission published its proposal on the implementation statutes in mid-April, the negotiations in Brussels have been conducted at a fast pace, which was dictated by the Hungarian Presidency; and in light of the significant progress accomplished so far, we consider it certainly necessary that Member States may also express their opinions at ministerial level, about the accomplishments of the negotiations so far, about the compromise proposals of the Presidency.
At present, the most debated element is on the issue of the distribution of the maintenance fees, which is no wonder, since what we are talking about is the amount to be disbursed to individual Member States, from the future maintenance fees paid into the joint fund under the unitary patent protection system. Fortunately, now the main principles of distribution are on the agenda, we will only have to “bargain” on the exact rules of distribution and not on the specific numbers which will be settled later, in other forums.
We can now talk about a meaningful progress; however, we can estimate the probability of reaching another milestone before the end of the Hungarian Presidency’s term, in the light of the Council’s meeting. Personally, I am hopeful.
The ministers will also adopt conclusions on the development of the European Research Area. What is the most important in the draft conclusions?
The purposed establishment of the European Research Area is to make European research more concerted and efficient, so that we can exploit the available resources and expertise in a concerted manner together, in order to launch significant and efficient projects.
The unitary structure will have to be built up until 2014, in accordance with the February conclusions of the European Council. The document to be adopted by the ministers will primarily define the future role of the working groups responsible for creating the European Research Area, in the implementation of the “Innovation Union” flagship initiative.
Ministers responsible for competitiveness will have their last meeting during the term of the Hungarian Presidency. If you look back on the work of recent months, which do you think are the areas where the Presidency has done the most to enhance European competitiveness?
In January, when I took over the function of chairing the Competitiveness Council from my Belgian counterpart, I set three priority topics, in which progress must and can be achieved during the Hungarian Presidency’s term, in order to improve European competitiveness.
One was reducing the costs of enterprises - both in the strict and figurative sense of the term. Unitary patent protection, in the interest of which the Council decided on enhanced cooperation in March, significantly reduces the costs of enterprises related to patent activities, thereby making European innovation more competitive.
Beyond unitary patent, there are other possibilities to contribute significantly to reducing the costs of enterprises, primarily those of SMEs. These possibilities will be discussed in this Council meeting under several items of the agenda.
The second competitiveness priority of the Hungarian Presidency is the improvement of the operation of the single European market and the handling of problems distorting the functioning of the market. In this area, the Single Market Act will certainly mean a huge step forward - even if the actual implementation of certain actions cannot take place during the term of the Hungarian Presidency. It is also the same with the development of the European Research Area.
Last but not least, improvement of the global competitiveness of European economy is a very important priority of the Hungarian Presidency. Of the Presidency’s relevant accomplishments, we should first mention the start of the implementation of the Innovation Union flagship initiative, and the simultaneous launch of the debate on the research financing framework of upcoming years; since Europe should primarily become competitive in the global markets through its knowledge.
All in all, although it would be too early to make a final report on the Hungarian Presidency’s job, I feel that during our six months we have managed to accomplish specific, tangible results concerning each of the priorities set in the Competitiveness Council.