The GFSB adopts to a large measure general policy recommendations of ESBA with some local quirks. Some of our policy on various issues can be found herein, namely:
How can we develop a cultural and political context encouraging entrepreneurship?
• Recognise and foster entrepreneurship as a value in education systems
• Neither the EU nor Member States should impose any barriers on self-employment
• Cut red tape, lower the tax burden and reduce administrative costs
• Encourage start-ups, improve access to finance and introduce measures facilitating a restart after bankruptcy
How can ethical business practices be fostered in European economies?
• Develop an EU business ethics policy, in cooperation with NGO’s
• Urgent action to tackle late payments between businesses, unfair contracts and predatory lending
• Exempt SME’s from mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The size of many SME’s and their position in society often results in socially responsible behaviour of these companies already. Enforcing mandatory CSR initiatives can have an adverse effect as SME’s often lack the means to comply with specific criteria that are initially designed for large businesses
Education & Training
How can education and training systems better prepare people for an entrepreneurial career?
• Entrepreneurship should be taught as a horizontal subject at all levels of education
• Education systems should improve entrepreneurial quality by developing links with businesses, encouraging life-long learning, and teaching labour-market relevant skills
Governance & Administration
How can administrative bodies facilitate the work of SME’s and avoid burdening them?
• Simplify and clarify all legislation, and reduce administrative burdens
• Involve business stakeholders in drafting, approval, and implementation of all legislation
• Undertake an early, publically available SME Impact Assessments for all new EU legislation and amendments
• Create a pan-European body, composed of SME organisations, to monitor the progress of the EU on SME – relevant issues
Financing Small Businesses
How can access to finance be improved for small businesses which require funding?
• A coherent EU policy on business finance must recognise differences in financing micro, small, gazelle, and medium companies
• Simpler and more SME-friendly procedure for applying for EU funding
• Improved access to finance through public-private partnerships, a better venue capital market
• Low interest rates, particularly while the effects of the crisis are still being felt
How can we prevent tax policies from burdening SME’s?
• The EU should encourage Member States to make tax policies more business-friendly
• This can be achieved through non-binding tax incentives and a tax simplification framework to be coordinated
• Lowering of taxes on profits and labour, in order to encourage SME’s to employ new staff
Unfair competition can manifest itself in various guises such as illegal and unregistered labour, favourable treatment being afforded to some companies over others etc. How can this issue be tackled?
• Governments and institutions must be completely transparent and accountable for its decisions
• A direct and aggressive approach to illegal labour must be employed by the powers that be to address this
• An independent Office for Fair Trading must be established that can carry out arms length investigations into unfair business practices or even complaints from consumers