Select Committee on European Union Thirty-Fourth Report

Appendix 2 Call for Evidence


Sub-Committee B (Energy, Industry & Transport) of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union is to conduct an inquiry into the European Commission's Green Paper Entrepreneurship in Europe.

The Green Paper identifies three key areas of concern for the European Union (EU). These are:

bringing down barriers to business development and growth;

balancing the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship; and

promoting a society that values entrepreneurship.

It also identifies two central issues in addressing these concerns:

the need to adopt a coordinated approach to entrepreneurship policy; and

the need to learn from best practice in the policy arena.

The Green Paper is very wide-ranging in its approach and defines entrepreneurship as relevant…

'…for all sectors, technological or traditional, for small and large firms and for different ownership structures, such as family businesses, firms quoted on the Stock Exchange, social economy enterprises or non-profit driven organizations…'

In view of this breadth, and in view of the extensive range of relevant policy initiatives in the UK and the EU, the Committee intends to focus on the for-profit technology based sector and, within that sector, to focus on policies which deal with barriers to business growth and development, including the promotion of "intra-preneurial" behaviour in large firms. The Committee will examine the issues of effective policy coordination and of learning from best practice and will consider evidence and experience from the United States of America (USA) as well as from UK and EU in this area.

The Committee expects that its inquiry will attempt to identify which policies represent best value for money in promoting the translation of entrepreneurship into successful business growth and development, and what policy coordination lessons can be drawn by inquiring into policy practice in this area.

In considering these issues, the Committee wishes to distinguish between two broad areas of public resources and support for entrepreneurship and enterprise aimed at stimulating growth and development of business. These two broad areas:

access to finance and the financial incentives; and

policies to support management and work force skills.

The Committee would, therefore, welcome evidence-based views and analyses of specific UK, US and EU programmes in these areas. The specific questions that we would wish evidence to address are as follows:

For each of the areas referred to above (paragraph 4):

What are the current programmes or schemes in the UK (EU)?

Are the objectives of these programmes well specified?

Do the programmes clearly identify the annual costs and benefits in each case? What are they?

Which, in your view, are the most effective programmes currently? Why is this?

What improvements to existing programmes, or what new programmes of support, do you consider desirable and why?

Are policies across and within each of the above areas (paragraph 4) effectively coordinated by the Government/the European Commission?

How appropriate is the existing balance of support, between each of the broad areas referred to above (paragraph 4)?

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