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Third Multiannual Programme for SMEs (1997-2000)

The Council of Ministers of the European Union has adopted the Third Multiannual Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the European Union, to run from 1997 to 2000.

The programme contains measures, intended to supplement action by the Member States, in ar...
The Council of Ministers of the European Union has adopted the Third Multiannual Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the European Union, to run from 1997 to 2000.

The programme contains measures, intended to supplement action by the Member States, in areas relating to SMEs, including craft and very small enterprises. The programme will cover actions intended to address the following six objectives:

- Simplify and improve the administrative and regulatory business environment;
- Improve the financial environment for enterprises;
- Help SMEs to Europeanize and internationalize their strategies, in particular through better information and cooperation services;
- Enhance SME competitiveness and improve access to research, innovation and training;
- Promote entrepreneurship and support target groups;
- Improve SME policy instruments.

The Commission will be responsible for implementing measures to achieve the above objectives, with the assistance of a committee composed of representatives of the Member States, chaired by the Commission. The programme will be open to participation from the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Malta and Cyprus, in addition to the EEA countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).

The envisaged budget for the four year period of the programme (1 January 1997 to 31 December 2000) is ECU 127 million.

An annex to the Decision adopting the programme contains a detailed list of measures to be taken for the achievement of the objectives of Community SME policy outlined above.
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