Eurochambres calls on Italian Presidency to promote SME participation in research

July 7, 2003

Brussels, 04 Jul 2003

Eurochambres, the association of European chambers of commerce, has called for the promotion of increased investment in research by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to be made a priority during the Italian Presidency of the EU.

SME participation in the Sixth Framework Programme must also be increased, the association argues, and entrepreneurship must form a key part of the Presidency's actions on education.

'Entrepreneurship in Europe must be promoted by business friendly framework conditions. The emphasis put by the Presidency on education should also include 'entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills'. An entrepreneurial culture has to be fully integrated into education systems,' said Eurochambres President, Christoph Leitl.

Promoting research and entrepreneurship are key to achieving what Eurochambres considers the overall goal of the six month Italian leadership, restoring confidence and putting Europe back on a path to growth. The association would like to see decisive measures taken to increase competitiveness, and calls for the creation of a more research friendly environment in order to boost innovation.

'For [Eurochambres] the utmost priority is to restore business and consumer confidence. Otherwise the ambitious target of the Lisbon agenda [...] will get out of reach,' said Mr Leitl.

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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