In February 2005, the Commission proposed a fresh start for the Lisbon Strategy focusing the EUs efforts on delivering stronger, lasting growth and providing more and better jobs. This will only be achieved by creating a supportive environment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and a more entrepreneurial culture.

The Commission considers that a more supportive environment for businesses at risk may prevent failure. Furthermore, addressing the negative consequences of business failure when it occurs and its negative image would help make the best possible use of human creativity in Europe, boost entrepreneurship and promote innovation and job creation. It would also help foster a more favourable societal climate in Europe towards entrepreneurship where only fraudulent and criminal behaviour is punished.

Member States and the business community are therefore invited to further work on a supportive environment for entrepreneurs at risk and those who have experienced a business failure with a view to turning the EU into a more dynamic place for entrepreneurship and second chance.

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