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EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME) for 2014–2020 approved under Lithuanian Presidency

Date

2013 11 27

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Under the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, an important agreement with the European Parliament was reached with regards to the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME) for 2014-2020 in November of the current year. The COSME programme is planned to come into force on 1 January 2014.

‘This is a considerable achievement in terms of the importance attached to the role of SMEs given that more than 20 million SMEs operate in the EU market.  This sector generates more than 67% of jobs and is a major driving force in the EU,’ Vice-Minister of Economy Kęstutis Trečiokas said.

According to the Vice-Minister, SMEs also dominate in Lithuania. Our aim is to develop competitive economy based on the growth of productivity, higher export volumes and value added. For Lithuania, the COSME parts relating to the improved SME access to finance and fostering of the entrepreneurship culture are relevant. The COSME programme and its further implementation is important for Lithuania in the context of its commitments under the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Small Business Act as well as in terms of the development of the high value added based-economy.

The budget earmarked for the implementation of the COSME programme makes EUR 2 billion. In the European Parliament, it was agreed that 60% of the COSME programme budget will be provided to funding through risk capital or loan guarantees for SMEs. Other parts of the programme will focus on helping national authorities reduce bureaucracy and SMEs get access to markets.

COSME is also a contribution seeking to implement smart, sustainable and integrated growth priorities under the Europe 2020 Strategy and create a set of measures to promote SME development at EU level though the EU financial engineering instruments.  COSME, together with Horizon 2020 reasearch programme, will replace the current Competitiveness and Innovation Framework programme (CIP).

The COSME programme has been agreed at the Council of the EU. Within the framework of COSME, national financial instruments will be development at EU Member State national level.