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28.1.

2010 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 21 E/1

Thursday 4 December 2008

I
(Resolutions, recommendations and opinions)

RESOLUTIONS

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Steps towards improving the environment for SMEs in Europe — Small Business
Act
P6_TA(2008)0579
European Parliament resolution of 4 December 2008 on steps towards improving the environment
for SMEs in Europe — Small Business Act
(2010/C 21 E/01)

The European Parliament,

— having regard to its Oral Question of 27 October 2008 to the Council on steps towards improving the
environment for SMEs in Europe: Small Business Act (O-0113/08),

— having regard to the Commission communication of 25 June 2008 entitled ‘Think Small First’ — A
‘Small Business Act’ for Europe' (COM(2008)0394) and the accompanying impact assessment
(SEC(2008)2101),

— having regard to the European Charter for Small Enterprises,

— having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are crucial to Europe's economy, providing over
100 000 000 jobs, contributing to economic growth, being a major source of innovation and promoting
gender equality and regional development,

B. whereas the proposal for a Small Business Act (SBA) for Europe is to be warmly welcomed but will only
be effective if there is a concrete commitment to its implementation at Member State and Community
level,

C. whereas the current financial market crisis has made the shortcomings of the present framework for
SMEs even more obvious and has heightened the urgency of having their needs better taken into account
and of the provisions contained in the SBA being effectively implemented,

1. Calls on the Member States to confirm that they intend formally to approve the SBA at the Brussels
European Council in December 2008 in order to ensure the necessary high visibility, and calls on the
Council, when adopting the SBA, to make its provisions binding, in order for it to have a significant and
positive effect on the environment for SMEs;
C 21 E/2 EN Official Journal of the European Union 28.1.2010

Thursday 4 December 2008

2. Emphasises the need for the Member States fully to support the implementation of the provisions of
the SBAs in order for them to be effective and calls for concrete measures to be taken at both Member State
and regional level, to complement the measures adopted at Community level; asks the Member States,
therefore, to announce how and within what timeframe the provisions of the SBA will be incorporated into
the national regulatory frameworks;

3. Recalls that, in order to ensure that the provisions of the SBA are effective, a screening system should
be set up to monitor its progress and its implementation by the Commission and the Member States; urges
that the progress made in the implementation of the provisions of the SBA be included in a stand-alone
chapter in the annual reports on the Lisbon Strategy national reform programmes;

4. Calls on the Commission and the Member States not to forget the ‘real economy’ when tackling the
current financial crisis, by providing concrete support for SMEs by ensuring their access to finance in this
critical moment; welcomes, in this respect, the new package of the European Investment Bank envisaging
EUR 30 000 000 000 for SME loans as agreed by the Council; takes the view that the amount will not be
sufficient to solve the current problems of SME financing;

5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments
and parliaments of the Member States.

Arms exports (Code of Conduct)


P6_TA(2008)0580
European Parliament resolution of 4 December 2008 on the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports
(2010/C 21 E/02)

The European Parliament,

— having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas June 2008 marked the tenth anniversary of the European Union Code of Conduct on Arms
Exports,

B. whereas more than three years ago, on 30 June 2005, COARM (the Council Working Party on
Conventional Arms) agreed at technical level on the text of a common position as the result of a
thorough process of revision of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, with the aim of transforming
the Code into an efficient instrument to control arms exports from EU territory and by EU companies,

C. whereas adoption of that common position will make the Code a legally binding arms export control
instrument for all EU Member States,

D. whereas despite various calls from Parliament to do so, the Council has since 2005 failed to adopt that
common position at political level, leaving the issue unresolved,

E. whereas this issue has acquired a new sense of urgency owing to a number of developments:

— several initiatives aimed at harmonising national arms procurement policies and intra-Community
arms transfers and sales,

— renewed interest in controlling the impact of the illicit arms trade, in particular since the entry into
force of EU air safety regulations and the impact these have had on the activities of air cargo
operators that are suspected of being involved in destabilising arms transfers,