Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Thursday, 13 December 2012

Question on EU growth

The European Commission has been urged to do more to promote growth across the EU by supporting small businesses (SMEs).

Questioning the Commission on 13 December 2012, the chair of the Internal Market Committee, British Conservative Malcolm Harbour, said that most EU countries were not promoting the opportunities provided by SMEs.

"It's small businesses that have created more jobs than any other sector", he insisted.

The European Commission recently cut its growth forecast for the eurozone, saying it would grow by just 0.1% in 2013, down from its previous estimate of 1% growth.

The Commission was urged to go further in completing the so-called digital single market, which exploits the internet to boost trade.

"The EU is the largest region in the world for e-commerce", claimed Mr Harbour.

Commission vice-president Viviane Reding pointed to the importance of the EU's budget for boosting growth.

"If we want to deliver growth across Europe we need a budget that can deliver investment across Europe", she said.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.


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