The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed an initiative from the European Commission that will require senior EU officials to spend time working in a small business. Only then will they understand how the legislation they impose is hindering the growth of SMEs.
The work experience will seek to improve Commission officials' understanding of the impact on small firms of the legislation that they devise. Small firms employ 13 million people in the UK and 75 million people across the EU. Understanding their needs is therefore vital to the EU's economic future.
Tina Sommer, FSB EU and International Affairs Chairman, said, "We welcome this proposal from the Commission. Policy-makers and businesses can now improve their understanding of each other's views and this will not only reduce the amount of legislation but also increase the quality of EU laws.
"The current state of legislation shows clearly how little EU officials appreciate the challenges that confront small businesses. Spending some time at the coal-face, getting their hands dirty, trying to deal with red tape as well as working in a shop or office should achieve greater understanding very effectively.
"The launch of our Brussels office has brought a number of small firms out to meet directly with policy-makers. The initiative from the Commission will extend the process of small business owners talking directly to those that make the laws that affect them. We will do our part to find placements for officials. Our members look forward to putting them to work."
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