Volume XVI, 7-2017
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SME Support Through EFSI Is Successful in the Czech Republic

SME Support Through EFSI Is Successful in the Czech Republic

The European Investment Bank has been entrusted with managing the financial flows within the Investment Plan for Europe of which the European Investment Fund (EFSI) is the main instrument. The EIB lends and provides guarantees for the financing of infrastructure, energy, environment, innovation and SME support projects. Investment support for SMEs is facilitated through loans (through EIB guarantees) provided by domestic banks. In the Czech Republic, the SME support has been successful in the last two years. On the contrary, the project in the area of local infrastructure or a large loan to the business sector - with the financial support of EFSI - is not yet available in the Czech Republic.

The European Commission Representation in the Czech Republic together with CEBRE organized a seminar on financing the investment by the EIB in October. Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank, a.s. (ČMZRB) already provides loans, guarantees and capital inputs supported by the state and the EFSI. Financial instruments are undoubtedly more effective than one-off non-repayable subsidies. They have more leverage, are less of a burden on public budgets in the long run, and eliminate inefficient projects. Compared to subsidies, there is less risk of distortion of the market environment and misuse of public funds.

In the new EU programming period after 2020, their share of funding is likely to increase at the expense of traditional subsidies. In the Czech Republic, » read more «

Retailers Ready to Participate in Commission’s Dialogue on Different Standards

On the 27th of September the S&D Group in the European Parliament organised a debate on the different quality of products in the Single Market. EU institutions’ representatives discussed with stakeholders the issue of the so-called dual quality of products in the EU. Marta Nováková, the President of the Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism welcomed the Commission‘s guidelines and also the effort to work on a methodology to improve food product comparative tests so that Member States can discuss this issue on a sound and shared scientific basis.

In the discussion, she pointed out the dialog is needed rather than any new regulation and the Confederation is ready to participate in the Commission’s dialogue with producers and retailers. She stated that big retail companies are accountable and credible partners and therefore they can help to eradicate the dual standards issue efficiently.

New Export Opportunities in Asia

In July, after five years of negotiation, an agreement in principle was reached on the main elements of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, with the conclusion of negotiations being expected by the end of this year. Apart from that, the final signature of the EU-Vietnam agreement is expected at the beginning of next year. Both deals create new possibilities for European and therefore Czech exporters.

The potential impact of the agreement on Czech exporters were the topic of a » read more «

EESC Corner: EU – A Healthy Monetary Background and Fresh Finance

The EESC has recently prepared a set of four opinions as a part of the White Paper discussion on the future of the EU. Two of them relate to the euro-area economic policy challenges (healthy monetary background) and the prospects for EU financing (fresh finance). Let´s comment on both briefly.

We welcome the progress made in the development of euro area economic policy. We regard as particularly important the circumstances linking the euro area environment with fiscal aspects and the strengthening of its institutional framework. It is essential to have a balanced mix of euro area economic » read more «