The first of three chapters of the ALDE SME campaign manifesto, contains nine targets regarding “smart regulation & simplifaction of rules”.
1. We call on the Commission to intensify the application of the SME Test in accordance with the “Think Small First principle” and to report the results of the Test in its impact assessments. We also need better monitoring both to enforce the consistent application and to enhance the quality of the SME Test in all relevant legislation. We also call for the SME Test to be applied during the legislative process, as appropriate.
2. We are in favour of taking account the specific needs of micro-entities as part of the SME Test. However the exclusion of micro-entities from the scope of proposed legislation should only be the last resort where their specific needs cannot be addressed with adapted solutions and lighter regimes.
3. We support a “fitness check” of existing EU legislation to wipe out inconsistencies and outdated or ineffective rules. We support the application of the “One in, One out” rule to EU legislation, i.e. no new legislation which imposes costs on SME can be brought in without the identification of existing regulations with an equivalent value that can be removed.
4. We call for a rapid agreement of the Member States to simplify the European basic requirements for annual and consolidated accounts of limited liability companies.
5. The current VAT system must be simplified and modernised to lower the administrative costs for cross-border operating companies inEurope.
6. The Intellectual property rights framework must be improved Europe-wide, so that SMEs derive greater commercial advantage from their inventions and have more incentives to invest in innovation and to become active in cross-border business.
7. The mutual recognition of professional qualifications across the EU should be more effective and must be possible for highly specialised occupational groups in particular. Cross-border mobility, especially for self-employed persons and SMEs, gains more and more importance. To this end, we advocate amongst others the introduction of optional European professional cards where this is useful and feasible.
8. We are committed to creating an efficient and transparent legal instrument for an alternative resolution of cross-border disputes. Compared to the usual legal remedies the alternative dispute resolution provides a faster and more cost-effective resolution of conflicts between companies or between companies and end customers.
9. We believe that it is crucial to develop an effective second chance policy that enables formerly bankrupt honest entrepreneurs to restart a business. It should concentrate among other things on reducing discharge times in various Member States and providing early support and advice to SMEs that are encountering difficulties.