Opinion factsheet

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    Smart Regulation for SMEs

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    : CDR 5387/2016
    : BUCHMANN, Christian
    : EPP (European People's Party)
    : ECON
    : Adopted
    : 12/07/2017
    THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



     points out the disproportionate impact of red tape on SMEs, with relative compliance costs in areas such as taxation or reporting obligations higher for SMEs compared with larger companies; therefore forcefully emphasises the need to make the European regulatory environment more SME-friendly by tackling barriers to business creation and growth at all levels;

     notes that the SME envoys network acts as main interface between the European Commission and national policy-makers; calls upon the Commission to formally and systematically include regional and local SME envoys in this network;

     underlines that overlapping and contradictory rules in different EU policies – regional policy, state aid, public procurement, environmental protection, tension between cluster support and competition and compliance rules – disproportionally affect SMEs;

     notes that the work of the REFIT Platform focuses primarily on specific issues within EU legislation that can be improved without fundamentally changing an entire piece of legislation; considers that this narrow focus should be complemented by a more ambitious approach, aiming for structural improvements to the EU regulatory framework in the medium term;

     calls upon public authorities at all levels to commit themselves to common standards of SME-friendly procurement;

     calls for further simplification of rules and procedures linked to different VAT regimes in cross-border trade, for an extension of the mini One Stop Shop principle, and for a common EU cross-border threshold below which VAT wouldn't be applied;

     stresses the importance of innovation-friendly rules that create room for experimentation where appropriate; stresses the need to encourage entrepreneurial thinking at all government levels.
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