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European craft and SME employers’ organisation

UEAPME is the employers' organisation representing exclusively crafts, trades and SMEs from the EU and accession countries at European level. UEAPME has 84 member organisations covering over 12 million enterprises with 55 million employees. UEAPME is a European Social Partner.

UEAPME puts focus on SMEs at Industry Day 22 February 2018, 16:20 CET
Today, at the first meeting of the High-level Industrial Roundtable with Commission Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Bieńkowska, UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller put forward the need to have a specific focus on SMEs within a renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy.

Sales of goods: a missed opportunity 22 February 2018, 12:41 CET
Today, after two years of debate, IMCO (European Parliament Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee) voted its report on the proposal concerning contracts for the sales of goods. UEAPME acknowledges the Committee's efforts to find a reasonable compromise for all parties and appreciates that provisions such as the lifespan guarantee have not been introduced. However, SMEs regret that the proposal, as it stands now, does not live up to the expected potential initially foreseen, notably establishing full harmonisation of guarantees and remedies at European level.

Geo-blocking will discourage SMEs' online trade 06 February 2018, 21:10 CET
Today, the European Parliament's plenary ratified the agreement reached in trilogue by adopting the regulation to end unjustified geo-blocking. While SMEs support the fight against unjustified discrimination based on nationality and residency, they remain highly concerned with the Geo-blocking Regulation that leaves many open questions and does not guarantee legal certainty to traders. This will not facilitate increase of cross-border e-commerce.

GDPR: SMEs call on Member States to support implementation 30 January 2018, 15:43 CET
Today, UEAPME met Commissioners Ansip and Jourova with other stakeholders to discuss the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entering into force on 25th May.

The European SME definition is still fit for purpose 19 December 2017, 18:28 CET
In its position paper published today, UEAPME opposes any possible changes to the SME definition. A first assessment with member organisations shows a broad support for the current definition, which is still fit for purpose. Any widening would only lead to including more beneficiaries and possible reduction of support for the micro enterprises who most need specific measures.

EFSI 2.0 will give further push for investment and innovation 12 December 2017, 18:10 CET
UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller welcomes today's final approval of EFSI 2.0 at the European Parliament.

UEAPME elects its representatives for Europe's SMEs 07 December 2017, 12:59 CET
Ulrike Rabmer-Koller was unanimously re-elected for a second two-year mandate as President of UEAPME, the European Craft and SME Association. In her acceptance speech, Ms Rabmer-Koller stated that she would continue her efforts to strengthen the organisation as the "Voice of SMEs in Europe" and put forward her policy priorities (better regulation, access to finance, skills shortage, and digitalisation).

SMEs are still the driving force of European economy 24 November 2017, 11:40 CET
“Entrepreneurs need a stimulating environment without unnecessary administrative burdens, where people with the right skills can cooperate to ensure the development of SMEs and where these skills provide access to the resources required to run their business” stated UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller on the occasion of the European SME Assembly 2017.

Skills shortages: a threat for SMEs 22 November 2017, 15:16 CET
The 2nd European Vocational Skills Week is a real opportunity to showcase the high value of Vocational Education and Training in Europe. It is a unique opportunity to promote and recognise the importance of vocational skills acquired on the job through national, regional and local events taking place across Europe, many of them organised by UEAPME members.

Social dimension needed for more jobs and fairness 17 November 2017, 11:40 CET
At the Extraordinary Meeting of the Gothenburg Summit between the EU Institutions and the European Social Partners, UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller highlighted that UEAPME’s first priority for the European Pillar of Social Rights is to better integrate the economic and social dimension.

SME Climate Index attains a pre-crisis level with 80.2 points 20 October 2017, 12:13 CET
At the Tripartite Social Summit, UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller presented the latest SME Barometer to the leaders of the European Institutions.

SMEs cast doubts on the consequences of 'SMIT' 20 October 2017, 12:10 CET
UEAPME is critical of the proposal for a Regulation on a Single Market Information Tool as it is unclear what the consequences will be for SMEs and there is a lack of crucial safeguards. Therefore, UEAPME asks for more detail on what is meant by "measures of last resort" and insists that the procedure remain voluntary for the enterprises. Furthermore, SMEs should be clearly exempt from the scope of the Regulation.

Future of Europe: SMEs want Scenario for Growth, Jobs and Stability 19 October 2017, 00:01 CET
At the Tripartite Social Summit on shaping Europe’s future, and following the commitment to contribute to the debate, President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller put forward UEAPME priorities for the Future of Europe.

SMEs welcome EU Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships 05 October 2017, 17:22 CET
UEAPME welcomes today's Commission proposal of a European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships. Crafts and SMEs, as main providers of apprenticeship in Europe, support the proposal, which includes many of their requests with regard to the support that is needed, the demand-led approach, the time to be spent in the company, and their involvement in the governance of apprenticeship systems.

SMEs ask for an alternative scenario for the Future of Europe 13 September 2017, 13:56 CET
Ahead of Jean-Claude Juncker's speech in the European Parliament on the State of the European Union, UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller addressed the Commission President to share her considerations on the future of Europe.

SMEs call for a different approach on work-life balance 19 July 2017, 13:02 CET
Today, at the informal Ministers' Meeting for Labour and Social affairs in Tallinn, Secretary General Véronique Willems explains why UEAPME rejects the proposal on work-life balance.

For successful future of Europe SMEs need better framework conditions 23 May 2017, 22:43 CET
The Commission’s proposals to further develop the Internal Market and support Start-ups, the improvement of the framework conditions for SMEs, and the White Paper on the future of Europe were at the centre of a meeting between UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller and Internal Market Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska today in Vienna.

Higher vocational qualifications to meet the skills needs of SMEs 16 May 2017, 13:08 CET
In the context of the Erasmus+ project QA HiVETnet, UEAPME organised a European conference "Qualifications We Need, Quality We Want".

The Social Pillar should better respect SME needs 26 April 2017, 15:13 CET
In a first reaction to today's publication of the European Pillar of Social Rights Package, UEAPME shows disappointment regarding the way forward proposed by the European Commission.

Brexit negotiations must minimise harm for SMEs 30 March 2017, 00:14 CET
Commenting on today's notification by the British government to leave the EU, UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller states: "Of course we accept this decision taken by the people and politicians in the United Kingdom. In order to minimise the negative impact on Europe's economy, growth, job creation and welfare, UEAPME requests a responsible approach towards SMEs."

SMEs profited from EU Integration, but more is needed and possible 26 March 2017, 23:37 CET
President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller and Secretary General Veronique Willems participate in the extraordinary meeting between EU Social Partners and the EU Institutions at the 60th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome.

Improving the EU financial instruments: AECM and UEAPME present their proposals for the EU mid-term review 26 January 2017, 18:04 CET
Today, on the occasion of the upcoming mid-term review of COSME and InnovFin, UEAPME, the European Association of Craft and SMEs, and AECM, the umbrella organisation of guarantee institutions in Europe, publish a joint position paper detailing their requests for improving the guarantee instrument.

Health and Safety Package rightly aims to support micro-companies 10 January 2017, 22:26 CET
UEAPME takes note of the Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) package published today by the EU Commission, following the in-depth evaluation of the various existing directives in this field. UEAPME notably appreciates the specific guidance and support foreseen for micro and small companies to better implement existing rules instead of adding new legislation.

Actions for start-ups and scale-ups should be applied to all SMEs 22 November 2016, 23:38 CET
UEAPME welcomes today's European Commission's communication on the start-up and scale-up initiative and its willingness to tackle and respond to this specific issue.

EU common challenges will not be solved without SMEs 20 October 2016, 13:52 CET
Today, at the Tripartite Social Summit, the European Social Partners met with the Presidents of European Council and Commission, as well as with the Troika of Head of States, to discuss the current EU common challenges: growth, jobs and fairness.

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