350 senior EU officials from the directorate general of companies and industry (GD ENTR) are to work for one week in small and medium-sized entities (SMEs). This unusual kind of work at the economic frontline is part of a so-called “company experience” programme launched on the 17th of July by the Commission. It aims at making the officials better understand the needs of SMEs and assess their problems more realistically. Says Günter Verheugen, who is EU vice president: “Working in SMEs my colleagues and I will gather practical experience on the situation of small and medium-sized entities. On the other hand companies will not only get motivated “interns”, but also “EU ambassadors” who will be able to present and explain those political measures which affect SMEs.”
By the year 2009 about 350 EU officials from the GD ENTR directorate general are expected to have spent one week working in SMEs. The UNICE, UEAPME and EUROCHAMBRES employer’s associations will draw up a list of possible host companies the personnel of which does not exceed 250 employees. SMEs from all fields of economy may take part in the programme.
Mittelstandsblog think: There is a good intention, but the wording “host companies” and the statement by Mr. Verheugen characterize the self-image of the “interns”: The world is coming to backwater and explains the big objectives… It would be better, if officials did not visit the companies, but more experts from SMEs worked as politicians and took some seats in the Commission.