The 2016 Italian Budget Law introduced several innovations. Among these the most relevant is the possibility for the professionals to access European fundingThe professionals, that so far have been always excluded from this kind of facilities, can now access European structural funds such as the ESF (European Social Fund) and ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). They can also access national and regional operational programs, respectively NOP and ROP, according to the 2014-2020 programmes.

«Letting Italian professionals and traders access European funding is fully recognizing the important role – both social and economical one – they hold in society», explains Davide Capra (Studio Mazzocchi & Associati). For the first time, in fact, they’re recognized as a productive entity like small and medium businesses. The Vice President of the European Parliament (and former EU commissioner), Antonio Tajani, has been firsthand committed for years in the full acknowledgement of European professionals as SME’s regardless of their company structure.  Legal equivalence comes as a result of multiple stresses by the EU Commission by 2003/361/EC recommendation and the 1303/2013 regulation, together with the continuous lobbying activity from the professional organisations. «The European Union, which previously did not allow professionals to benefit from the incentives for companies, decided to make the necessary adjustments enhancing their turnover», remarks Capra highlighting that «once overcome the Italian distinctions between professional firms and SMEs, Italian professionals can now compete in a European dimension, even if this is only a step along the path». In accordance to European guidelines that reclassify role and value of the professionals, the Italian institutions will undoubtedly need new tools to support professional firms just like they do to SMEs, as  the economic environment is complex and volatile. This openness is therefore a great opportunity for professionals who, too often, have been excluded from several incentives despite having the necessary requirements.

Wall & Street

(translation from Italian by Gian Maria De Francesco)

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