site.btaEU Is One Step Away from Adopting Legislation to Develop Start-Ups Potential, MEP Tsvetelina Penkova Says
In a BTA Interview, Bulgarian MEP Tsvetelina Penkova (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament) said that talent and innovative companies with a strong social element that are usually people-oriented are being lost without European legislation on start-ups.
Penkova proposed the first ever draft EU legislation in this field. It was adopted by a vast majority by the European Parliament committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE) earlier this week and it has yet to be voted by the European Parliament on December 14.
Penkova noted that, if adopted, this will be an achievement for both Bulgaria and the EU, being a clear sign that the European institutions take concrete action to support the sector. The start-up industry accounts for some 3% of the EU's total GDP, equivalent to approximately €2 trillion.
The new EU law will define clearly what is a start-up and how it differs from small and medium-sized enterprises. So far, start-ups have been added as a paragraph in regulations that relate to SMEs. Penkova explained that globally, start-ups are clearly differentiated, but not in the EU.
"As young entrepreneurs cannot develop their projects further in Europe, they are often forced to look to the US or Asia, where the offered conditions are much better," Penkova said.
According to her, the EU legislation and strategy on start-ups will be tailored to their needs. Favourable conditions will be outlined to help start-ups get off the ground, including granting easier access to finance, introducing a range of tax breaks, removing existing regulatory burdens and guaranteeing employee rights.
In Penkova’s words, this legal framework will be key for the creation of a favourable environment to encourage market uptake, unlock more funding and stimulate the growth of the European and Bulgarian start-up industry.
She recalled that the main thing that distinguishes start-ups is that they are based on new technologies that are on the market for the first time and are very different in terms of the structure of the products and services they offer.