Counsel, Sayenko Kharenko
Ukraine has joined the European Union’s COSME program for supporting small and medium-sized business. How can this agreement impact market access conditions?
COSME (Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) is an EU program established to create better business conditions for SME in the emerging and developing world. The program is implemented within the framework of the Small Businesses Act (of 25 June 2008) with a total budget of EUR 2.3 billion.
Access to market is one of the four main goals of the program.
Its aim is to assist SMEs in finding customers within the EU as well as beyond it. This initiative is implemented through the creation of the EEN (Enterprise Europe Network). There are more than 600 organizations in more than 50 countries assisting SMEs in obtaining access to financial resources of the EU, its markets and technology, etc. COSME funds special web tools being designed to support SMEs. They are “Your Europe Business Portal” and “the SME Internationalization Portal”. The first provides practical online information for entrepreneurs who want to enter the European market. The second puts the emphasis on supporting measures for companies to develop their business outside of Europe in third countries. It is important to note that COSME opens the possibility to use tools for more simplified access to the EU market, but doesn’t “guarantee the shelf.” Simplification consists of a greater amount of knowledge and financial resources that can be obtained by countries connected to COSME.
Ukraine is now a part of the COSME program and is eligible to apply for such initiatives and schemes of support. In addition, Ukraine is a part of EEN and companies can benefit from it by applying to members of the consortium in Ukraine.