Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-10-24-Speech-1-144-000"
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"To begin with, I would like to emphasise strongly that the success of the Europe 2020 strategy, as well as the state of the European economy, depend, to a large extent, on small and medium-sized enterprises reaching their full potential. Currently, there are approximately 23 million SMEs in the European Union, which employ around 67% of the total number of private sector workers. The Small Business Act (SBA) constitutes the framework of the EU’s policy aimed at strengthening SMEs, thus allowing them to grow and create jobs. During the period 2008-2010, the Commission and the EU’s Member States implemented the measures set out in the SBA in order to reduce administrative burdens and to provide SMEs with easier access to finance and to new markets. In the words of Commissioner Tajani: ‘SMEs represent more than 99% of all businesses and employ more than 90 million people in Europe. They are the driving force of our economy and must be kept strong, competitive and innovative. The Member States must act quickly to ensure that the Small Business Act is fully implemented’. Even though most of the initiatives contained in the SBA have already commenced, the review of its implementation to date concludes that more intensive efforts are needed to assist SMEs and that the European Commission should be more focused on the pursuit of measures which provide support to SMEs in the European Union."@en1
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