LOCAL MEP Malcolm Harbour is putting himself forward as an agony uncle for small businesses which find themselves fuming over red tape.
Mr Harbour is calling on entrepreneurs and leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the West Midlands to contact him with their chief concerns over burdensome rules and regulations - particularly those emanating from Brussels.
The move follows an initiative by the European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Antonio Tajani, who says he wants to discover the 10 most-restrictive pieces of legislation for SMEs on the EU’s statute books.
Mr Harbour is asking businesses to contact him so that he can be aware of their concerns before forwarding the information to the commission in Brussels and said: “I want business people to really get things off their chest and tell me all their biggest bug-bears. Instead of just grumbling to themselves about the problems red tape cause them, they should tell me all about it, and I will tell Brussels.
“At the same time I can hopefully build up an invaluable picture of the mood of business in the region and the challenges people face.”
As 20 years of the Single Market is celebrated, Mr Harbour added: “We have made good steps forward in many areas including the recognition of professional qualifications, classification of goods and custom tariffs, standardisation of product safety standards and improvements in public procurement. However we know that further improvements can still be made. But we want to know from those at the sharp end what their priorities are.”
Mr Harbour can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org