The Council of the European Union, in the last Council meeting on 30th May 2012 reached an agreement on the main elements of the new Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) that will run from 2014 to 2012.
The assistant ministers holding competencies in tourism, both from Spain and Cyprus, emphasised the role of the tourism sector in the programme. In the field of internal market and industry, top priorities of the upcoming Cypriot EU presidency will include the finalisation of legislative initiatives contained in the Single Market Act and the implementation of actions in support of SMEs, including those within the tourism sector, which are expected to be substantially boosted.
COSME will provide better access to finance, deliver business support services and promote entrepreneurship notably for SMEs. Subject to the approval by the Council and the European Parliament, COSME will run from 2014 to 2020 with a foreseen budget of € 2.5 billion, meaning a continuation of the CIP Programme except for the innovation part which will be covered by Horizon 2020.
COSME Programme will be focused on strenghtening competitiveness and sustainability in European SMEs, by promoting cooperation between Member States, particularly through the exchange of good practices, and providing innovative financial instruments to facilitate access to finance further actions, to support SMEs’ access to markets and internationalisation. Those actions can include improving the tourism knowledge base by providing data and analysis while avoiding mandatory requirements for Union enterprises.
Final budget has yet to be negotiated in the framework of the next multi-year financial perspective with the European Parliament, so that EU27 did not go into details about final figures nor the distribution of it, and hence they reached this partial general approach.