Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Members European Small Business Alliance ESBA Bulletin of 4 July 2017

ESBA Bulletin of 4 July 2017

04 July 2017
by ESBA -- last modified 04 July 2017

ESBA held its annual event on "Better Regulation"

ESBA held its annual event on ''Better Regulation''

On 21 June 2017, the European Small Business Alliance (ESBA) held its annual event at the Berlaymont Hotel in Brussels. The theme that ran throughout this year's event was better regulation, and to what extent it can be maintained as a priority amid turbulent times for the Union. The event kicked-off with the ESBA President, Mr. David Caro's welcome and opening remarks. The early afternoon session commenced with the presentation of a case study by entrepreneur Lars Andersen. Mr. Andersen presented the state of play of the (Digital) Single Market from an SME perspective, sighting legal fragmentation as one of the biggest barriers to cross-border establishment or even one-off transactions. His remarks were met with great enthusiasm by the audience which thoroughly engaged with the speaker and had numerous questions for him.

The next speaker was MEP Andreas Schwab, who offered his insight on better regulation and how it can lead to solutions for persistent shortcomings in the European market. The audience once again had plenty to comment and ask on Mr. Schwab's points with the interactive session ending for a quick lunch and networking session. The event continued with a typically insightful and humorous speech by the First Vice-President of the Commission Mr. Frans Timmermans. The keynote speaker covered a wide range of topics on European integration, Brexit, the role of political forces at national level and of course better regulation. The next forty-five minutes saw the audience engage extensively with Mr. Timmermans and a panel of wide-ranging stakeholders. The speakers answered questions and debated certain points which were raised by the audience as "food for thought".

The last session of the afternoon was an interactive debate between the four-person panel consisting of MEP Antea McIntyre, co-founder of ONL and entrepreneur Mirjam Bink, Nick Wallace of the Centre for Data Innovation and the aforementioned Mr. Andersen. Mr. Caro moderated an interesting and constructive debate concerning better regulation and the speakers' views regarding VAT in e-commerce. The event was subsequently drawn to a close with the ESBA President thanking all attendees for their presence and engagement for what was a vibrant and well-received event.


EU/Trade: Angela Merkel wants a new TTIP agreement

On 27 June 2017, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, stated that she is in favour of resuming negotiations between the European Union and the United States on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This statement was a response to US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who stated his willingness to pursue negotiations with the objective of reducing trade deficit. The Trump administration wishes to reduce the trade imbalance with EU states and especially with Germany, where the US trade deficit in goods in 2016 was approximately 65 Billion $. Germany will host the next G30 Hamburg summit on 7 July 2017, where trade will be one of the most disruptive issues.
For information about TTIP, please click here.

EU/Insolvency: New simplified cross-border insolvency process enters into force

On 26 June 2017, a new set of rules on cross-border insolvency was enacted. From now on, European firms will have access to a more effective and efficient debt recovery mechanism. By resolving cross-border jurisdiction issue, this new Regulation will guarantee recognition of insolvency-related judgments across the EU. The key components include a wider range of national restructuring proceedings and increased legal certainty and safeguard against bankruptcy tourism. The Commission's objective is to allow firms to restructure themselves while reducing chances of bankruptcy. This new Regulation is the first step of a new legislative process regarding insolvency. Indeed, a Commission Directive on facilitating early restructuring and second chance is currently examined at Committee level.

For more information on Insolvency, please click here.

EU/DSM: European Parliament greets end of roaming charges

On 15 June 2017, the European Parliament welcomed the "roam like at home" rules that came into force the same day. These new rules allow European citizens to text, browse the internet and call on mobile devices at their home country rate, even if they are doing so from another Member State. The rules are expected to have a positive impact on European SMEs and start-ups in all sectors of the economy as well as on European consumers. However, mobile phone users need to keep in mind that they can face 'unexpected charges' from providers when exceeding settled texts, data and minutes package.
For more information on roaming in the EU, please click here.

EU/CMU: New guidelines to increase transparency on social and environmental matters

On 26 June 2017, the Commission published new guidelines on the disclosure of environmental and social information. It is part of the Commission's ambition to develop an inclusive EU plan on sustainable finance as part of the Capital Markets Union. These rules will help businesses to reveal pertinent non-financial information in a reliable way. The goal of the guidelines is to promote smart business reporting and sustainable finance. By doing so, the Commission wants to allow European companies to be more transparent, reduce financing costs and perform better while attracting and retaining competent workers.
For more information on Capital Markets Union, please click here.

ESBA welcomes a new member

On 20 June 2017, the Annual General Meeting of the European Small Business Alliance (ESBA) accepted HUMISP Croatia as its latest member. We are proud to welcome Branka Cubelic, a real entrepreneur and advocate to our Board and Katerina Laillier as our new colleague and look forward to a long and fruitful cooperation.

EU/ Council of the EU: The trio programme of the upcoming residencies of EU Council

On 20 June, ministers of Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria outlined the priorities of their forthcoming presidencies. Regarding the first six-month cycle, the Estonian presidency will focus on migration, security and on deepening the single market. Estonia will also concentrate on the implementation of "A Connected Digital Single Market for All" by the end of 2018. The Bulgarian Minister in charge of the second presidency stated that her main priorities will be preserving and strengthening the unity and the solidarity among the Member States. Additionally, the Bulgarian presidency will focus on the future of cohesion policy as well as the digital single market. Concerning the last cycle of the presidency trio, the Austrian minister said that his country's presidency will focus on the most pressing challenges in Europe, migration and security.

For information about the presidencies of the Council of the EU, please click here.

EU/Postal Services: Council general approach-increased transparency for cross-border parcel deliver regulation

On 9 June 2017, the Council of the European Union agreed on its stance regarding the draft regulation for cross-border parcel delivery services. The regulation in question aims to improve monitoring over the sector with a view to increasing its transparency and making it more affordable by ironing out price differences that cannot be commercially justified. This is seen as a step towards a stronger cross-border e-commerce sector, as businesses will be more inclined to sell and deliver outside of their home country and consumers will be encouraged to buy. According to the general approach, the Commission is to set up a website that will operate as a rate-comparison platform for large parcel-delivery service providers. Smaller operators are exempted to avoid crippling administrative burdens. It also entails a stronger mandate for regulators to obtain various data from parcel-delivery services in order to assess price levels and their justifiability. Non-confidential versions of the assessment will be published on the aforementioned Commission website, while it will be up to member states to impose penalties or offer rewards based on the assessments' findings.

For more information on Postal Services and e-commerce please click here.


Grayling: EU Mobility Package – What's at stake for EU road users?

On 7 June 2017, Grayling published a policy briefing which aims at evaluating the Mobility Package introduced by the European Commission on 31 May 2017. The package is divided in three broad categories: social fairness, sustainable mobility and connected mobility. The publication focuses on the seven major initiatives included in these categories before analysing the political context and the objectives of the package. Finally, the publication focuses on the road charging issue with the review of the Eurovignette Directive.

To access this publication, please click here.


Public consultation on EU Company law

DEADLINE: 06/08/2017

The aim of this public consultation is to collect input from stakeholders on problems regarding company law, gather evidence of such problems and ask their views on possible solutions on how to address the problems at EU level. The consultation is divided into four parts (the reasons to act, the use of online tools throughout the company's' lifecycle, the cross-border mobility of companies, the conflict-of-law rules for companies).
To access this consultation, please click here.

Public consultation on the database directive

DEADLINE: 30/08/2017

The Commission is launching a public consultation on the application and impact of the Database Directive 96/9/EU on legal protection of databases. The Directive offers two-tier protection to databases: Copyright protection to the databases which are considered 'original' and Sui generis protection to databases on which major investments have been made. In the ongoing ex-post evaluation, the Commission is assessing whether the Directive still fulfils its policy goals and is fit-for-purpose in a digital, data-driven economy. The results of the consultation will feed into a Staff Working Document describing the Commission's findings. The main objectives of the consultation are to collect up-to-date information on the evolution of the market related to databases; the use and the impact of the copyright and the sui generis protection regimes on the database makers and users.
To access this consultation, please click here.

Public consultation on Interim evaluation of the programme for the competitiveness of enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises

DEADLINE: 16/10/2017

The European Commission is launching this consultation to collect the views of stakeholders and citizens with regard to the policy options to reduce microplastics entering the marine environment. This consultation touches the policy areas of Environment, Circular economy, Marine and coastal environment. The objectives of the consultation are: informing and enabling feedback, giving the possibility to a broad range of stakeholders to provide views, feedback and perceptions on the concern around microplastics emissions and possible options for reduction; and gathering information and data that cannot be found through desk research and additional sources of evidence as regards to the sources and policy options for the reduction of microplastics emissions.
To access this consultation, please click here.


EU Institutions: important dates

3-6 July 2017: European Parliament Plenary Session- Strasbourg
5 July 2017: Coreper I
6 July 2017: Coreper II
6-7 July 2017: Informal meeting of justice and home affairs
10-13 July 2017: Committee Meetings
11 July 2017: Economic and Financial Affairs Council
11 July 2017: Coreper I
12 July 2017: Coreper II
13-14 July 2017: Informal meeting of environment ministers

Other SME-related events

Trade and Sustainable Development chapters in EU Trade Agreements - How to make a real impact?

07/07/2017, Brussels

On 7 July 2017, the European Social and economic Committee is organising a debate regarding the upcoming Commission's discussion paper on the effective implementation and enforcement of the sustainable development chapters in the EU free trade agreements. The meeting aims to be part of this debate. It will focus primarily on the achievements of the Trade and Sustainable development (TSD) chapters until now and it will formulate recommendations for the future based on the civil society participation in the TSD Chapters.
To find out more about this event, please click here.


ESBA logo

The European Small Business Alliance (ESBA) is a non-party political group, which cares for small business entrepreneurs and the self-employed and represents them through targeted EU advocacy and profiling activities.

European Small Business Alliance
Clos du Parnasse 3A
B-1050 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 274 25 04