Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Implementing the Lisbon Community Programme for Growth and Jobs: Transfer of Businesses Continuity through a new beginning
COM(2006) 117 final
In February 2005 the European Commission reaffirmed its commitment to the Lisbonpartnership for growth and jobs and in November 2005 launched a comprehensive policy framework for SMEs which explicitly recognised the importance of business transfers.
Europes population is ageing and the potential for business transfers is increasing. One third of EU entrepreneurs, mainly those running family enterprises, will withdraw within the next ten years. According to estimates this could affect up to 690,000 small and medium-sized enterprises and 2.8 million jobs every year. Business transfers are complex and all too often they go wrong, not because the business as such is not viable but just because of problems in the transfer phase. In order to increase Europes competitiveness the economic environment and support measures for business transfers needs to be improved.