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Calls for European startup environment at parliamentary conference

The COSAC meeting in Tallinn assembled MPs from all over the EU in the Riigikogu.
The COSAC meeting in Tallinn assembled MPs from all over the EU in the Riigikogu. Source: (Riigikogu)

Presenters and speakers at Monday’s meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for the Affairs of the European Union (COSAC) and representatives of the European Parliament in Tallinn focused on innovation and supporting the growth of startups.

President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (SDE) emphasized in his address that even though the globalized world had become unpredictable and forced people to face many challenges, this specific format of cooperation of the different EU parliaments’ EU affairs committees would continue.

"It has been and remains an irreplaceable platform which brings together politicians dealing with the policies of the European Union," Nestor said in the conference's opening speech.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) introduced the priorities of the Estonian EU council presidency, followed by discussion of Europe's competitiveness, innovation, and the development of startups, according to the Riigikogu's press office.

Representative of the European Commission Kristin Schreiber said that a risk capital fund was being created that will help startups not only to start a business, but also further down the way.

Schreiber said that the aim of the package consisting of 46 measures was to strengthen the sustainability and competitiveness of small and medium businesses, and “foster an enterprising disposition”.


Create a European startup environment

Ivo Spigel, a Croatian IT entrepreneur, said that it was important that politicians created a dynamic environment for business that could take advantage of technological potential. Now startups operating mostly as small islands needed to engage in transnational cooperation and create an Europe-wide ecosystem. Politicians could do a lot here by making amendments to legislation, Spigel said.

Estonian IT entrepreneur Sten Tamkivi said that startups were not isolated units in the economy or a goal in itself, but pioneers, experimenters, and the flagships of the economy in the future. He suggested simplifying the tax regime of startups, as they had a positive impact on the economy and society.

There are approximately 400 active startups in Estonia, the total growth of which in 2016 was €100 million. Altogether 90 percent of this capital came from outside Estonia.

Vitsut: Meeting a success

Chairman of the Estonian parliament's European Union affairs committee Toomas Vitsut (Center), who led the meeting on Monday, said that the meeting was successful in introducing Estonia as a forward-looking and innovative country to other EU colleagues.

The conference of COSAC chairpersons was the opening conference of parliamentary events during the Estonian EU council presidency, and also held in preparation for the COSAC plenary meeting to be held in Tallinn in November. The Estonian delegation along with Vitsut also included MPs Marianne Mikko (SDE) and Jaak Madison (EKRE).

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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