Bucharest Daily News | SMEs still vulnerable after EU access

SMEs in Romania look still vulnerable after EU access. An article from Robert Comanoiu – Bucharest Daily News – 13 April 2006

“All the Small and Medium Company representatives agree with Romania’s EU accession but one quarter of them said that the companies they lead are not entirely ready for this,” said the president of the National Council of Small and Medium Private Companies in Romania (CNIPMMR), Ovidiu Nicolaescu.

The official explained that 115,000 SMEs are not ready to face the consequences of Romania’s EU accession and only one SME in seven showed that it took the proper measures to comply with the future EU requirements. “I personally believe that the percentage is lower,” said Nicolaescu.

The main domain where most of the problems should occur is the one concerning human resources. SME representatives said that employee costs will increase after the EU accession and they will not have the financial resources to keep up with the new changes. “More than 40 percent of the SMEs believe that they will have problems in certifying their products,” said Nicolaescu. The official stated that the proper measures for helping SMEs would be informing each sector about the EU laws and requirements needed to continue their activity.

“Approximately 60,000 pages of EU laws and requirements were translated into Romanian, so that the interested parties can access the needed information. If you give a SME leader this amount of paper it is as if you did not give him anything,” said the CNIPMMR official. A study conducted by the institution shows that most of the SMEs representatives are aware of the competition that will appear after the EU accession will have negative effects on their activity. Valentin Cristea, one of CNIPMMR’s vice-president, stated that the consultancy for SMEs should have started three or four years ago because these type of companies really need help.

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