Presentation of the Peer Review on the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP)

By SME Europe

On April 23rd 2013 the final report of the Peer Review on the CIP was presented to the public in the European Parliament. The survey is available here.

Dr. Paul Rübig MEP was designated as the Rapporteur in the CONT committee of the study due to his long experience on the issue and his strong commitment to SMEs. We remind you also that Dr. Paul Rübig was recently Rapporteur on the EP Report on “Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs): competitiveness and business opportunities”.

On the CIP study he commented that in many areas it is difficult to measure the impact of SME funding, as indicators are rather inconsistent and complicated. He insists that the criteria for granting funding as well as for measuring efficiency have to be much clearer, simpler and especially measurable. Across all programmes targeting at the same possible funding recipients, there should be common indicators. He points out that we need much more coordination between SME funding on local, regional, national and European level in order to achieve the highest possible level of efficiency.

The CIP programme contributes to the effort of the European Commission to strengthen the important role of SMEs within different policy fields. CIP will be followed up by the COSME Programme in the period 2014-2020, whose negotiations already started. The study aims at evaluating the CIP in order to learn from previous experience.

The evaluation report, especially concerning the EIP part (Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme), provides evidence of several instances of

  • direct improvements in the competitiveness of SMEs

  • provision of financial and other support for innovation within enterprises

  • improvements in long-term growth prospects.

Nevertheless, the authors and the experts drew up 22 recommendations. Timing worths a particular mention as the two interim reports were drafted too close in time to each other and the final report being in practice an interim report itself.

Among these recommendations:

  • the time lag between approval and actual receipt of credit is unclear;

  • the financial instruments should be more risk driven, simple credits are not attractive at this stage of the lifecycle;

  • the SME Week is worth mantaining in the next programme;

  • in general the support to the SMEs should be more according to the size.

Next steps at that site

Commission’s proposal on COSME will be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council, which must agree to adopt it. COSME should start on January 1st 2014.

The publication of this document received financial support from the European Parliament. Sole liability rests with the author. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.