Council of Ministers

European Union

Small Business Act approved by EU

The Council of Ministers, the EU’s most important decision–making body, has approved the Small Business Act (SBA) for Europe, which includes a three–stage action plan to help small firms through the economic downturn. The three priorities highlighted were to give all SMEs in the EU better access to finance, reduce their administrative burden and help them to benefit from European and international market opportunities. Though not legally binding on EU member states, the action plan includes a mixture of legislative proposals, such as giving those that trade in more than one member state new status as a European Private Company, as well as non–legislative commitments. The latter including providing small firms with better access to loans and introducing an ‘SME... »