FSB: EU Reforms Need To Be Made

Federation Of Small Businesses Launches European Election Manifesto


Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

Small companies in Britain continue to benefit from the UK's membership in the European Union (EU), but reforms are required if firms are to compete globally.

This is according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which has launched its European election manifesto this week (February 12th).

While small enterprises have profited from the lifting of trade barriers and free movement of goods across the continent, the FSB thinks the European Parliament needs to be more flexible when introducing new legislation.

The body has outlined a number of key issues that businesses would like candidates to address if they are elected to the Parliament in May 2014.

One of the most prominent parts of the organisation's manifesto is the 'Think small first' test, which encourages lawmakers to consider the impact of new policies on startups and small businesses before they are enforced.

The FSB has also urged EU chiefs to create a "culture of entrepreneurship" across the continent and that important trade deals - such as the upcoming negotiations between the EU and US - support small companies' interests.

There have been signs to suggest the EU is increasingly taking small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into consideration when introducing new laws and directives.

Last month, UK minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude said impending European procurement directives will cut red tape for UK SMEs and make it easier for smaller, less established organisations to win public sector contracts.

However, FSB national policy chairman Mike Cherry thinks more action is required.

"The EU needs to reform further to ensure our businesses are able to compete with emerging powers in today's global economy," he commented.

"We want to see measures to accelerate the completion of the single market and a more flexible, proportionate approach taken towards regulation that hits small firms hardest, and is often cited by FSB members as a key concern affecting their growth aspirations."

Expert Opinion
Considering the high level of importance that the UK and other countries place on small businesses in terms of their ability to aid the ongoing economic recovery, it seems only reasonable that more is done to ensure that such companies are considered when it comes to the introduction of new policies or legislation.

"There are numerous examples of small businesses and entrepreneurs who have gone on to enjoy great success and growth after developing innovative new products and services, and it is vital that more is done to support the next generation and ensure they are able to meet all of their ambitions.

"We would also encourage small businesses to research and consider the various initiatives available to them, as well as to ensure they have the support network they need to deal with the various legal and regulatory issues which go hand-in-hand with growth or expansion."
Steven Beahan, Partner