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Candidate countries join EU enterprise programme

Almost all enlargement candidate countries will take part in the "EU's 450 million euro programme for enterprises this summer, well before they are due to formally join the Union. Participation means they can benefit from services provided by the 51 Euro Info Centres now open...

Almost all enlargement candidate countries will take part in the "EU's 450 million euro programme for enterprises this summer, well before they are due to formally join the Union. Participation means they can benefit from services provided by the 51 Euro Info Centres now open in the countries, gain access to EU funds managed by the European Investment Fund and have a bigger say in European policy dialogue on how to improve the business environment. The 13 candidate countries also endorsed the European Charter for small businesses in April this year. The 2001 to 2005 multiannual programme for enterprise and entrepreneurship, particularly SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises), has a total budget of 450 million euro. Most of this budget, 317 million euro, goes to the financial instruments. The rest finances the running of the Euro Info Centres, of which there are almost 300 across Europe, and the development and testing of enterprise policy ideas. All of the candidate countries except Turkey will begin participating before the autumn.

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