Speaking at the SME Week's closing ceremony in Prague, Vladimír Tošovský, Czech minister for industry and commerce, called SMEs "a pillar of European competitiveness," but said just 5% of EU GDP is currently generated by providing cross-border services.
"Therefore, fast and accurate implementation of the Services Directive is critical," he said.
Tošovský added that the European Investment Bank is playing a vital role in providing SMEs with financial resources. "Nevertheless, it is not government, but the management of the companies who must secure them a stable place in the market," he concluded.
Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer told the conference that supporting SMEs is a key feature of Europe's recovery plan, adding that he supports swift implementation of the Small Business Act (SBA). According to Fischer, SMEs are the most dynamic companies and contribute significantly to boosting GDP.
"Their further growth is crucial for the European recovery," he said. "However, SMEs are the most vulnerable entities in the market. Therefore, they deserve state support in the crisis," he said.
The European Private Company Regulation, the Late Payments Directive and facilitating invoicing will be among the top priorities for the remainder of the Czech EU Presidency, according to senior Czech ministers.
The new Czech government, led by Jan Fischer, will host a European Council summit on June 18 and 19 before handing over the six-month rotating presidency to Sweden.