EU’s €2.5bn COSME programme to help SMEs access finance

30 May 2012

The EU’s proposed COSME programme, a €2.5bn initiative that will run from 2014 to 2020 to help SMEs access finance, is one of the items on the agenda at the EU Council of Ministers’ meetings on Competitiveness and Trade in Brussels this week.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, is in Brussels today and tomorrow for the talks.

COSME itself stands for Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. The aim of the programme will be to help SMEs across Europe access finance, as well as help small businesses operate outside their home countries and improve their access to markets.

From Brussels today, Bruton spoke about the COSME programme.

“One of the key items up for discussion is the €2.5bn COSME programme, which will help facilitate access to finance for SMEs, help SMEs operating outside their home market and seeking to access new markets, all of which are key objectives for the Irish Government.”

Topics that are being discussed today in Brussels at the Competitiveness Council meeting include plans for growth and jobs in the single market and proposals to institute alternative and online dispute resolution in cross-border online transactions.

Tomorrow, the EU’s 27 trade ministers will be discussing trade policy topics, including making decisions on opening free trade talks with key trading partners outside the EU.

The ministers will also be discussing the potential for more trade and investment with Asia and the US.

The creation of a single market for digital services and the creation of a unified patent system with one court to encourage innovation across the EU are other areas that will be thrashed out tomorrow.

Image of entrepreneurial growth via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic