SMEs in the EU
News and information about the European Union's policies for small and medium-sized businesses.
- Financial reporting obligations for limited liability companies (Accounting Directive) — 13 June 2013, 13:16 CET
The European Parliament on 12 June voted in new Accounting and Transparency Directives, a modernisation of financial reporting obligations, which should see costs reduced, in particular for SMEs.
- SMEs say no to collective redress, but react positively on antitrust damage proposal — 12 June 2013, 23:17 CET
UEAPME stresses that there is no need for a collective redress system, but welcomes the proposal that antitrust damages should be ruled at national level.
- Trade Union leaders call for major investment to kick-start recovery and job growth — 06 June 2013, 23:07 CET
Europe needs an urgent change of priorities in the form of a real European Recovery Programme with a focus on job creation and a strengthening of the European Social Model.
- UEAPME requests more focus on innovation for SMEs — 30 May 2013, 16:27 CET
At the Clean Sky SME Day, coinciding with the European Competitiveness Council discussion on the future Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020, Gunilla Almgren, President of the European SME organisation UEAPME, put forward her main concerns about the ongoing negotiations between the European Parliament, Commission and Council.
- Draft de-minimis Regulation needs some improvements, says UEAPME — 23 May 2013, 16:26 CET
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation, reacts in a generally positive manner to the draft proposal of the European Commission for a revised Regulation on de-minimis aid.
- Banks must back the real economy and facilitate SMEs' access to finance — 02 May 2013, 23:25 CET
The European Builders Confederation EBC took the occasion of the SMEs Finance Forum held today in Dublin to alert and raise the issue of access to finance for construction small and medium enterprises in front of the European Institutions, the Irish Presidency of the European Council and other SMEs representatives.
- Access to finance for SMEs — 02 May 2013, 17:57 CET
A joint European Commission - European Investment Bank Group report on the activities facilitating access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2012 was presented at a meeting of the SME Finance Forum, on the eve of an Informal Competitiveness Council on 2 and 3 May in Dublin. European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Enterprise and Industrial policy, also launched a new single online portal for all EU financial instruments for SMEs as well a web-based information guide for SME stock listings, to promote SME listings and stimulate investors’ interest in SMEs and mid-caps.
- — 02 May 2013, 17:49 CET
This site will help you to apply for finance supported by the European Union. To access EU finance, click on your country to locate banks or venture capital funds that provide finance supported by the EU.
- EC moves to cut legal red tape — 24 April 2013, 18:28 CET
The European Commission is proposing to slash red tape for citizens and businesses by doing away with bureaucratic rubber-stamping exercises which are currently required to get public documents, such as your birth certificate, recognised as authentic in another EU Member State. Currently, citizens who move to another Member State have to spend a lot of time and money in order to demonstrate that their public documents (such as birth or marriage certificates) issued by their Member State of origin are authentic. This involves the so-called 'Apostille' certificate which is used by public authorities in other states as proof that public documents, or the signatures of national officials on documents, are genuine. Businesses operating across EU borders in the EU’s Single Market are also affected. For instance, they will often be required to produce a number of certified public documents in order to prove their legal status when operating cross-border. These requirements date from an era when countries would only trust a public document if it came from the foreign office of another country. However, just as we trust in each other's court judgements, we should be able to trust a Member State's Registry Office issuing birth certificates, without needing their foreign office, justice ministry, or other authorities to vouch for them. Today, the European Commission is therefore proposing to scrap the 'Apostille' stamp and a further series of arcane administrative requirements for certifying public documents for people living and working in other Member States.
- Disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large companies and groups (proposal to amend Accounting Directives) — 16 April 2013, 17:17 CET
The European Commission has proposed an amendment to existing accounting legislation in order to improve the transparency of certain large companies on social and environmental matters. Companies concerned will need to disclose information on policies, risks and results as regards environmental matters, social and employee-related aspects, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery issues, and diversity on the boards of directors.
- Simpler accounting requirements for small companies — 10 April 2013, 00:17 CET
The European Parliament and Council of the EU have agreed new, simpler accounting requirements for the preparation of financial information. It is hoped this will result in a reduction in the administrative burden for small companies (SMEs).
- Modernisation of the European Trade Mark System — 27 March 2013, 15:42 CET
The European Commission has presented a package of initiatives to make trade mark registration systems all over the European Union cheaper, quicker, more reliable and predictable. The proposed reform would improve conditions for businesses to innovate and to benefit from more effective trade mark protection against counterfeits, including fake goods in transit through the EU's territory.
- — 14 March 2013, 16:31 CET
The European Commission is organising the Late Payment Information Campaign in the 27 EU Member States and in Croatia from October 2012 to December 2014. The aim of this campaign is to increase awareness amongst European stakeholders, in particular SMEs, and within public authorities on the new rights conferred by Directive 2011/7/EU.
These events will also provide a forum for the exchange of best practices and help businesses to tackle late payment issues. While addressing the business environment, the information campaign will focus in particular on SMEs, as they are most affected by the current culture of late payment across the EU.
For these events, the European Commission will also invite speakers from:
the national authority in charge of the transposition of the Directive,
the Enterprise Europe Network,
as well as national and regional experts in the subject.
- On-time payments in only two Member States – EUROCHAMBRES launches 30max campaign — 13 March 2013, 17:10 CET
Estonia and Finland. These are the only two European countries where public administrations settle their bills with the private sector within the 30-day limit foreseen by the revised Late Payment Directive which should enter into force in the whole EU on 16 March.
- Late Payments Directive — 12 March 2013, 14:21 CET
By 16 March 2013 EU Member States will need to have integrated the revised Late Payments Directive into their national law. It obliges public authorities to pay for goods and services within 30 calendar days or, in very exceptional circumstances, within 60 days. Businesses should pay their invoices within 60 calendar days, unless they expressly agree otherwise and if it is not grossly unfair to the creditor.
- Business confidence declines further as recession spreads, survey finds — 12 March 2013, 13:54 CET
European SMEs’ confidence declined for the fourth semester in a row as a downturn due to a sluggish internal demand is feeding through all Member States, according to a survey conducted by UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers’ organisation, and its members.
- — 07 March 2013, 18:10 CET
In the Report on “Minimizing regulatory burden for SMEs - Adapting EU regulation to the needs of micro-enterprises” (COM (2011) 803 final), the European Commission announced that it would create a dedicated webpage to identify the TOP 10 EU legislative acts considered to place burdens on micro companies and SMEs. This will be used to make focused and tailor-made revisions of these legislative acts. The identification of the most burdensome pieces of EU legislation was carried out in two steps. In the first stage, a consultation was run through the European Enterprise Network (EEN). Its results were used as a basis for the next consultation, the last phase of the exercise.
- Ten most burdensome EU laws for SMEs — 07 March 2013, 17:03 CET
In a broad consultation initiated by the European Commission, around 1,000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and business organisations have now identified the top 10 most burdensome EU laws. The purpose of this broad consultation was to check where EU regulation might be impeding jobs and growth and to identify areas or issues which would require further examination and action where necessary.
- Capital requirements: SMEs welcome deal to transpose "Basel III" rules in the EU — 28 February 2013, 13:30 CET
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation, warmly welcomed the agreement reached between the EU institutions last night on the implementation in the Union of the "Basel III" rules on capital requirements.
- Small businesses call for shifting focus in data protection debate — 20 February 2013, 22:20 CET
The new General Data Protection Regulation must provide a clear and simple set of rules for SMEs, without burdening them with unnecessary costs or obligations. This was the main message to MEPs and the European Commission this morning during a breakfast meeting organised by the European Parliament's SME Intergroup.
- Data protection: SMEs welcome vote at ITRE Committee, urge LIBE to follow — 20 February 2013, 22:14 CET
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers’ organisation, welcomed today’s vote at the European Parliament’s Industry Committee (ITRE) on the revised data protection regulation.
- Data protection: it’s not about Facebook, it’s about us, SMEs tell Parliament — 19 February 2013, 11:23 CET
UEAPME speaks at SME Intergroup; warns against extending to all SMEs the obligation to nominate a data protection officer
- European Retail Action Plan and Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain — 31 January 2013, 18:15 CET
The European Commission has adopted a European Retail Action Plan and a Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain. The retail and wholesale services sector is seen as one of the most important in the EU economy and should play an important part in stimulating growth and job creation under the Europe 2020 strategy. It accounts for 11% of EU GDP and 29% of European SMEs and employs nearly 33 million people, offering job opportunities in particular for young people, women and people with lower skill levels or qualifications. However, a number of barriers remain that hinder the smooth functioning of cross-border sourcing, consumer access to cross-border retail services and market entry for retailers.
- Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan sets right priorities, say SMEs — 09 January 2013, 13:53 CET
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation, welcomed the "Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan" unveiled today (Tuesday) by the European Commission. According to UEAPME, the action plan sets out the right priorities to put entrepreneurship back on the agenda, giving Member States a clear signal to act in this respect.
- Entrepreneurship Action Plan: motivating potential new entrepreneurs the no. 1 priority — 10 January 2013, 22:57 CET
While fully endorsing the Entrepreneurship Action Plan’s aim of re-igniting entrepreneurial spirit, EUROCHAMBRES called for implementation to focus heavily on the challenge of motivating and equipping more young Europeans to become entrepreneurs. The many other objectives set out in the communication – which cumulatively resembles a second Small Business Act - must not undermine the pursuit of this primary objective.