During a presentation of the Council Presidency’s programme within Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee(IMCO), MEP Marlene Mizzi requested the Maltese Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, Dr Chris Cardona, to ensure that the promise which the European Parliament made to the citizens for the abolition of roaming charges, is kept. Mizzi called on the Presidency to ensure that the reform of the wholesale roaming market is ambitious enough to allow the real abolition of roaming fees in June 2017 by lowering wholesale caps, whilst at the same time ensuring no price hikes at the national level.

Furthermore, MEP Mizzi urged the Minister to improve the overall investment and ecosystem for small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe.

“I am pleased to see that the Maltese presidency aims to work on different initiatives to improve the overall ecosystem for small and medium-sized enterprises. I encourage you to take concrete steps on implementing the Commission Start-up and Scale-up Initiative and on promoting entrepreneurship’s activities in Europe,” said MEP Mizzi to Minister Cardona.

During her intervention, Marlene Mizzi said: “More than ever we need to create the right environment for SMEs and entrepreneurs through the elimination of barriers and through the adoption of proper incentives, such as access to affordable financing and to appropriate skills and expertise.”

Minister Cardona responded that traditional financial methods has failed and new solutions are needed to strengthen the eco-system for start-ups and SMEs. The Minister confirmed that the presidency will organise an informal Council Conference on the subject and will try to push for successful national models that have been adopted in Malta, such as the Family Business Act as appropriate solutions at European level. He also confirmed that the Presidency is committed to working towards the abolition of the roaming charges by June  2017.

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