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Economy Minister Vizjak on the launch of the new business support network: “Credit for European economic success is due chiefly to small and medium-sized enterprises.”

photo: Thierry Monasse

Andrej Vizjak, the Slovenian Minister for the Economy, was one of the keynote speakers at today’s conference on the launch of Enterprise Europe Network - the new business support network. In his address, Mr Vizjak emphasised that “small and medium-sized enterprises play a key role in the European economy as major drivers of innovation, competitiveness, growth and job creation”.

“For this reason, in recent years many new instruments have been introduced in the SME policy area, but even more remains to be done. I believe that the European Community and the Member States can coordinate their efforts even better,” said Mr Vizjak and expressed his conviction that the new business support network would be one of the chief mechanisms offering continued support to European SMEs.

Mr Vizjak announced that the Slovenian Presidency would continue the efforts in the area of SME policy. “We want, in particular, to focus primarily on measures to promote SME growth. This will entail facilitating access to financing, reducing administrative burdens and improving the supportive environment for business,” he said.

The new business support network will be the main mechanism supporting the European SMEs in their efforts for innovation and the achievement of a higher level of competitiveness, combining Euro Information Centres and Innovation Relay Centres. It will offer a varied range of additional support activities, such as advice on business legislation, and information on the principal policy initiatives and standards.

Mr Vizjak was invited to the conference by European Commission Vice-President Günther Verheugen.


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Date: 07.02.2008