€500 million loan to Spain’s Instituto de Crédito Oficial from the European Investment Bank to support SMEs

The loan granted to the Spain’s Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) by the European Investment Bank (EIB) will be allocated to finance small and medium-scale projects carried out by SMEs, mainly in convergence regions in Spain. ICO will match the EIB loan with the same amount, meaning that a total of €1 billion will be pumped into the small business sector.

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The UK organisation Outset is the winner of the 6th European Enterprise Promotion Awards

The European Commission announced the winner of the Enterprise Promotion Awards 2012. According to the Commission, the UK organisation Outset has been awarded for creating a unique approach to supporting start-ups by helping society’s most vulnerable groups to find work through self-employment and enterprise. Cyprus, Sweden, Italy, Portugal and Turkey also received prizes for driving enterprise with new and innovative local solutions.

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The EESC wants to ensure that EU companies enjoy equal access to public funding both in procurement and state aid cases

Members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) called for better access to public procurement and more flexible state aid rules in the November plenary session. One of the opinions adopted highlights that some of member states are reluctant to cooperate and open up the public procurement market to competition, despite the EU efforts to promote e-procurement.

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New one-stop-shop for market access information to help EU businesses internationalize in China

The Europe-China Standardization Information Platform (CESIP) was launched as a one-stop-shop for market access information to help businesses internationalize and ultimately strengthen SME trade between Europe and China.

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The SMEs access to bank loans continued to deteriorate in the euro area

The European Central Bank published the results of a survey which show that between April and September 2012, the SMEs access to bank loans continued to deteriorate. Moreover, the survey results point to somewhat higher rejection rates when applying for a loan. In addition, the EBRD showed how structural reforms have improved the environment for SMEs in Eastern partner countries.

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New public consultation launched to identify the research directions for future and emerging technologies

The European Commission has opened a public consultation in order to identify promising and potentially game-changing directions for future technological research. The Commission is inviting scientists, researchers, engineers, innovators, artists, entrepreneurs and individuals to submit their ideas before 30 November 2012.

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The target for research funding to SMEs set by the beginning of FP7 programme has been reached

According to Commission's ninth report on SME participation in FP7, the target initially set by the European Parliament and the Council on research funding granted to European SMEs has been reached. The report highlights that SMEs have received around €2.9 billion from Cooperation Program.

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MEPs blame member states on the delay to fully apply the single market

The European Parliament adopted a resolution which points out that citizens and companies still do not benefit fully from the single market. According to MEPs, member states are reluctant to implement EU rules swiftly, coordinate with each other and inform citizens of their rights.

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The Commission consults on e-invoicing in public procurement

The European Commission launched a public consultation in order to gather views and information on the use of electronic invoicing in public procurement, i.e. in the B2G sector, and on the perceived need of action at EU level. Public authorities, citizens, enterprises, and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation before 14 January 2013.

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