Fabian Demicoli

GRTU appeals for decisive action on Small Businesses Act


 At the UEAPME CONFERENCE hosted by ACCA (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), GRTU Director General Vincent Farrugia made a strong appeal to the European Commission Vice President Gunter Verheugen who is responsible for SME's to accept UEAPME member's strong pressure to make the provisions incorporated in the new Small Business Act (SBA) legally binding on all the national governments in the Member States.

"We worked hard 9 years ago to produce the Small Business Charter and progress has been registered in the delivery of projects in favour of Small Businesses but the total result is hardly felt. Bureaucracy continued to increase and today business owners spend more hours meeting administrative burdens and paying for government and EU induced costs than before. This in spite of all the Commission and politicians` rhetoric.

The reason is that the Charter was not legally binding and the EU employed poor enforcement procedures on Member States to have all provisions implemented and adhered to. Without legally binding provisions the Small Business Act becomes toothless" Mr Jigi Plecity replied after Vice-President Verheugen said that though not legally enforceable the Act will be strongly monitored from Brussels and will be very hard for Member States to escape from implementation of the conditions of the Act especially since Member State governments welcomed the SBA.

He confirmed that the Final draft of the SBA is now ready and the Commission expects approval by July 25th of this year.

Vince Farrugia appealed to the COMMISSION to name the Member States who are objecting to the binding clause, so did individual national organisations like GRTU representing SME's can make pressure on their government to accept the binding clause.

UEAPME is the European Federation of National Organisations representing SME's. GRTU president Mr Paul Abela and Mr Vincent Farrugia are members of UEAPME Administrative Council.

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