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Commission establishes Business Environment Simplification Task Force

The European Commission has established the Business Environment Simplification Task Force (BEST) with the aim of identifying ways in which we can improve the business environment, in particular for SMEs, by simplifying the regulatory and administrative burdens, with a view to...
The European Commission has established the Business Environment Simplification Task Force (BEST) with the aim of identifying ways in which we can improve the business environment, in particular for SMEs, by simplifying the regulatory and administrative burdens, with a view to increasing their job creation potential.

The 15 members of the task force were appointed on 16 September 1997 by Commissioner Christos Papoutsis, in agreement with Commission President, Jacques Santer, from a list of nominations from the Member States. The task force, which will be fully independent, is expected to concentrate on identifying the barriers and administrative burdens which prevent enterprises and ambitious and dynamic entrepreneurs from taking full advantage of the opportunities provided by the Single Market and globalization.

Commissioner Papoutsis said that the challenge for BEST was to respond to the urgency called for by the heads of state and government at the Amsterdam European Council in June 1997 to be given to stimulating the business environment for SMEs. "This needs to be considered in the context of a framework for encouraging and developing entrepreneurship, promoting a European enterprise culture and developing a stable business environment", he continued. However he acknowledged the difficulty of the job which BEST had to undertake in delivering practical results.

The task force is expected to complete its report in summer 1998. However, some preliminary ideas should be produced for the Special European Council on Employment, to be held on 22 November 1997. The chairman and members of the task force are as follows:

- Chairman, UK:
Prof. Chris Evans OBE
Founder of Merlin Ventures (biotechnology seed investment company),
President of the Board of Trade's Advisory Group

- Austria:
Dr. Wolfgang Krebs
Head of Craft and SME Section, Ministry of Economic Affairs

- Belgium:
Ms. Kathy Vanhoorne
Future Director of SAS (Deregulation Unit)

- Denmark:
Mr. Bjørn Meier
Director, Mahé Freight A/S

- Finland:
Mr. Risto Suominen
Director, Federation of Finnish Enterprises, SME organization (worked on administrative simplification)

- France:
Mr. Jean Prada
Vice-President of COSIFORM (Commission for Simplification of Formalities)

- Germany:
Mr. Dieter Philipp
President of German Crafts Federation
(owner of an SME)

- Greece:
Ms. Antigone Lyberaki
Assistant Professor at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences

- Ireland:
Mr. Dominic Ellickson
Founder of Ellickson Engineering Group of Companies
(Director of several companies, electrical engineer)

- Italy:
Mr. Carlo Borgomeo
President of Societa per l'Imprenditoria Giovanile (IG SpA)

- Luxembourg:
Mr. Armand Berchem
Administrateur Délégué de la "Fiduciaire des PME"
(SME consultant, author of report on administrative simplification in Luxembourg (1986))

- Netherlands:
Dr. Elisabeth Steyger
Task Force Administrative Simplification, Ministry Economic Affairs

- Portugal:
Eng. Rui Gomes
IAPMEI (SME Support Institute)

- Spain:
Dr. Elisa Sainz Ruiz
Deputy Director General of Institutional Relations of Directorate General for SME Policy

- Sweden:
Ms. Camille Forslund
Director, Keyline Stad och Konslut AB,
Member of SME Simplification Committee
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