Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan EU : Reinvigorate the entrepreneurial spirit in Europe

With the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan, the European Commission aims to unleash Europe's entrepreneurial potential, remove existing obstacles and revolutionize the culture of entrepreneurship in the EU. It aims to ease the creation of new businesses and to create a much more supportive environment for existing entrepreneurs to thrive and grow.

The European Agenda for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals stresses the important role of migrants as entrepreneurs and states that "their creativity and innovation capacity should also be reinforced".

The EU has publicly recognized the key contribution that migrant entrepreneurs can make to sustainable growth and employment.

It is important that policies to encourage entrepreneurship in Europe take full account of the entrepreneurship potential represented by this group.

Highly-qualified non-EU nationals can already be admitted as workers under the Blue Card Directive.

National and European policies should also consider the potential of qualified migrants for the creation of businesses and jobs. In particular, support measures and policy initiatives should help attract talented would-be entrepreneurs wishing to create global companies based in Europe.

The Commission will :

· Propose policy initiatives to attract migrant entrepreneurs and to facilitate entrepreneurship among migrants already present in the EU or arriving for reasons other than setting up business, building on the best practices developed in the Member States, including by local authorities.

· Analyse the opportunity of proposing legislation aimed at removing legal obstacles to establishment of businesses and giving qualified immigrant entrepreneurs a stable permit.

The Member States are invited to:

· Remove legal obstacles to establishment of businesses by legal migrant entrepreneurs, such as considering initiatives to give to qualified immigrant entrepreneurs or immigrant graduates of a European university-level institution a stable permit to allow them to set up a business in Europe, which can be extended if pre-defined targets in terms of job-creation, turnover or raising of new funding are achieved.

· Facilitate access to information and networking for migrant entrepreneurs and prospective migrant entrepreneurs by, e.g., creating relevant information centres in areas densely populated by migrants.

► Promoting young entrepreneurs

The Commission would like to persuade more people, particularly students, young people, women, migrants and the unemployed to become entrepreneurs.

For this it wants to :

- remove the legal obstacles to the establishment of businesses by migrant entrepreneurs,

- provide unemployed people with financial support to set up businesses,

- introduce a "Europe-wide EU Entrepreneurship Day" for students in their last year of secondary education,

- ensure knowledge transfer from older to younger entrepreneurs and - establish a network for female entrepreneurs. – In particular, the Member States should

- appoint known entrepreneurs as "Entrepreneurship Ambassadors" (p. 22), - design and implement strategies to encourage female entrepreneurs,

- improve work-life balance by establishing care for children and elderly dependants,

- ensure that the participation of senior entrepreneurs in knowledge transfer projects is compatible with their pension prospects,

– Second chance for "honest bankrupts"

- The Commission describes bankruptcies "without any fraud" as "honest failures". - It recognises business failures as a part of the market economy but, in cases of "honest failure", calls for "better" possibilities for discharging bankruptcies and facilitating "second starters" (p. 18).

- The Member States are to change their insolvency legislation in 2013 to limit the discharge and debt settlement period to three years for an honest entrepreneur. - In 2013, the Commission wants to hold a public consultation on this "new approach" to business failure.


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