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Central and Eastern European countries to participate in EU's SME programme

The European Commission has adopted proposals for Council Decisions allowing Central and Eastern European countries to participate in the Third Multiannual Programme for SMEs, which runs from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2000. The proposals concern those candidate countries w...
The European Commission has adopted proposals for Council Decisions allowing Central and Eastern European countries to participate in the Third Multiannual Programme for SMEs, which runs from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2000. The proposals concern those candidate countries who have confirmed their interest in participating: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic.

The programme provides the basis for actions which aim at raising the awareness of SMEs to the challenges of a business strategy which increases their competitive position. The programme is focused on SMEs irrespective of their sector, legal form or location within the European Economic Area.

The number of SMEs in these Central and Eastern European countries is growing, but the level of support or resources existing is very low in comparison with the EU. The adoption of these Decisions will offer these countries the opportunity to actively integrate in the Community's policy in this field, in the framework of the pre-accession strategy. It is therefore of considerable political importance.

The main issues addressed by the proposals are as follows:

- Allowing the participation, in general, of entities from these countries in all the actions of the programme;
- Setting the financial contributions of the CEECs and the rules governing these contributions;
- Establishing procedures for the evaluation of the participation of the CEECs in the programme;
- Hosting, with the participation of CEECs, coordination meetings prior to Programme Committee meetings, and informing them of their results afterwards.

Once adopted by the Council, after the European Parliament has been consulted, these Decisions will establish the Community's position in Association Councils with each of the CEECs concerned. Formal Decisions on the participation of each country will be adopted at these meetings.

Related information

Programmes

Countries (8)

  • Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Israel, Poland, Romania, Slovakia

Subjects

Economic Aspects
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