Opinion Factsheet  

The Future of the COSME programme beyond 2020: regional and local perspective

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Opinion Number: CDR 3215/2017
Rapporteur: 
Commission: ECON
Status: Adopted
Date: 31/01/2018
 
This own-initiative opinion aims to feed a territorial perspective into the decision process on the future of COSME at an early stage. The Commission has been conducting an interim evaluation of the COSME programme: the results of this evaluation can be expected to provide a key input to the decision on a renewal or modification of COSME.
Taking regional and local concerns into account when shaping the future of COSME or its successor for the next programming period would constitute an important step towards achieving the CoR's political priorities linked to improving the business environment for SMEs. Thus, this opinion also intends to contribute to implementing the priorities of the CoR as outlined in the resolution on the CoR's priorities for its 6th term of office, which calls for "enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs and promoting the social economy by improving access to finance, inspiring innovation and target infrastructure, and by reducing red tape".
The opinion specifically aims to contribute to the policy objective of "improving SME access to finance and supporting businesses throughout their life-cycle" under the "Single Market, Business Environment, Industrial Competitiveness" policy priority of the ECON commission's 2017 work programme.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



 calls upon the European Commission to ensure a predictable and stable SME support framework beyond 2020 by creating a renewed and strengthened successor programme to COSME taking the needs of diverse types of SMEs in different EU territories into account;

 considers that there should be more focus on the measures undertaken by local and regional authorities to encourage entrepreneurship and SME start-ups and that measures should be taken to increase the role of local and regional authorities in supporting the business environment and developing public-private partnerships;

 suggests that financial instruments providing partial credit risk protection issued under the COSME LGF shall provide up to 80% credit risk protection. Without the guarantee, the projects would often not be pursued by SMEs, resulting in a sub-optimal investment situation. The guarantees are designed to respond adequately to SME's business models, allowing them to grow on a long-term sustainable basis;

 points out the need to devote sufficient resources to easing access to finance for the broadest possible range of SMEs present in different territories; takes the view that promoting public-private partnerships between financial intermediaries and regional and local actors in jointly implementing targeted financial instruments could contribute to delivering on the long-term objective of creating sustainable growth and employment;

 considers that transparency and synergies between different EU instruments supporting SMEs need to be improved in the next programming period; therefore calls upon the Commission to clearly delimit the function and scope of each instrument supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs, to avoid creating parallel structures, and to ensure that beneficiaries and financial intermediaries can easily access information about the entire range of available instruments.

Importance

High
Medium
Low
 

Meeting with the Economic Representative of Flanders, Permanent Representation of Belgium to the EU

Exchange of views on the main successes and weak points of the COSME programme and recommendations for the successor programme.

 
31 Jan
 

Meeting DG GROW

Rapporteur meets representatives of DG GROW, Directorate for COSME, to discuss issues of implementation of the COSME programme and the role of local and regional authorities in the current programme and its potential successor programme.

 
18 Sep
 

Stakeholders consultation

Rapporteur meets business associations and other stakeholders to discuss their views on the implementation of the programme and their recommendations towards the future.
The following bodies, mong others, accepted theinvitation: European Association of Regional Development Agencies (EURADA), European Association of Guarantee Institutions (AECM), Eurochambres, Eurocommerce, European Family Businesses (EFB), Cooperatives Europe,German Confederation of Skilled Crafts and Small Businesses (ZDH), French Permanent Assembly of Chambers of Arts and Crafts (APCMA)

 
18 Sep
 

The Future of the COSME Programme - EER annual meeting

 
29 Jun
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