MEP Marlene Mizzi urged the European Commission and the Member States to create the right environment for growth and expansion of SMEs and to improve their access to affordable finance.
During the last plenary session in Strasbourg, Members of the European Parliament adopted a number of reports focused on enhancing the competitiveness of European SMEs. In one of her interventions Marlene Mizzi emphasized the importance of setting the right environment and creating opportunities for SMEs and start-ups.
“SMEs and microenterprises account for 99% of all EU businesses and provide about two thirds of employment in Europe. They are the backbone of the EU economy and are responsible for 85 % of newly created jobs. This makes them an indispensable tool in stabilising the European economy and in creating sustainable jobs and growth in Europe. Creating the right environment and protecting SMEs in Europe is a must,” said MEP Mizzi.
MEP Mizzi pointed out that one of the biggest challenges SMEs encounter on a daily basis is the difficult access to affordable finance. “The current instruments are insufficient, and do not provide SMEs with the necessary means to finance. Banks are also reluctant to finance businesses, especially if they are start-ups or if they are at an early stage of their expansion activities. This presents a Catch 22 situation which many SMEs find themselves in – they cannot grow or start because they do not have the finds, and funds are not given to them because they are not established. Such a situation is a damper on entrepreneurial talent and job creation possibilities,” commented MEP Mizzi.
“SMEs are not only persistently faced with cash-flow constraints, but also with many other limitations such as red tape and administrative costs. That is why, the Commission and Member States should pay particular attention to improving access to finance, as well as to simplifying the relevant administrative procedures, providing continuous information and training on projects and improving the role of local governments in charge for the proper utilization of EU funds,” said MEP Marlene Mizzi.