The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/05/10compet3/
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Competitiveness Council views favourably the framework programme proposal to promote competitiveness and innovation
The "Competitiveness" Council - Internal Market, Industry and Research Council - chaired by Jeannot Krecké, Luxembourg Minister for the Economy and Foreign Trade, was held in Brussels on 10 May 2005 and examined the decision proposal by the European Council establishing a Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007-2013) based on a questionnaire prepared by the Luxembourg Presidency.
With a budget of more than 4 billion euro for 2007-2013, this framework programme is composed of three specific sub-programmes designed to strengthen the innovative capacity of companies in the European Union as well as to improve the regulatory framework for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The ICT Policy Support (802 million euro) programme follows up on the objectives of existing Community programmes e-TEN, Modinis and e-Content. The Intelligent Energy for Europe Programme (780 million euro) is designed to support the development of environmental technologies. Finally, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (2.6 billion euro) covers the financial instruments of the Multiannual Programme for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and the components of the environmental programme LIFE.
Among the new measures proposed by the Commission to the Competitiveness Council, the competitiveness and innovation programme facilitates access to venture capital for high-growth enterprises that innovate (GIF2) and aims to increase the capacity of regional banks to make loans to SMEs.
During a press briefing after the Council, Chairman Jeannot Krecké declared that "the Council views favourably the framework programme proposal to promote competitiveness and innovation", adding that "the Ministers emphasised the importance of synergies between the specific programmes and the cohesion with the Seventh Framework Programme on research."
The Presidency now wishes the work to conclude rapidly in a common position with the European Parliament since "the Council is determined to advance this crucial dossier for the competitiveness of European enterprises", stated Jeannot Krecké.