Politics / Law
Lobby group clamours for change
Brussels – In the run-up to the presentation of the European Commission’s new European Innovation Act next spring, the SME interest group at Business-Europe has begun lobbying for lower taxes, financial aid and a set of common IP rules. In its position paper “Innovation: Building a Sucessful Future for Europe”, the lobby group has called on the Commission to follow the example of France, which offers tax exemptions to all SMEs that channel more than 15% of their total expenditure into R&D, and exempts “YIC companies” from all corporate and capital gains tax for up to 8 years after their foundation. BusinessEurope has also called for the creation of an integrated venture capital market, and wants to expand the volume of risk-sharing products offered by the European Investment Bank to circumvent the current financing bottleneck for high-tech SMEs.
The paper also criticised the EU‘s efforts to create a European Research Area, and proposed establishing more flexible financing and staffing rules within European R&D programmes like the FP7 and Joint Technology Initiative. BusinessEurope President Jürgen R. Thumann said the first Barroso Commission recognised the need for a broad-based innovation strategy, and added that “the forthcoming European Innovation Plan should be a decisive milestone in this process.”