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Entrepreneurship key in implementation of European Pillar of Social Rights

05 March 2021
by smeunited -- last modified 05 March 2021

The Action Plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) should support socio-economic recovery and job creation. SMEs contribute to the European social dimension, providing 67% of employment in Europe, and training young people through apprenticeships. For this reason, entrepreneurs and self-employed should be at the core of the action plan.


SMEunited welcomes the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, announced by the European Commission today. Additionally, the Commission presented an important new initiative "EASE" to actively support job creation through entrepreneurship and job to job transitions.

"We are glad that the role of social partners is acknowledged and highlighted in further implementing the principles of the EPSR. SMEs have an important role to play in achieving the 2030 employment, skills and social protection headline targets", stated President Alban Maggiar in a first reaction.

"The role of entrepreneurship is rightly recognised as the job creation engine. Currently, the risk of poverty among entrepreneurs is intense. In the aftermath of the continuous lockdowns in all Member States, 20% to 30% of SMEs are currently at high risk of insolvency", he emphasised.

"Therefore, entrepreneurs and self-employed must be the first to be supported for their income loss and provided incentives to continue their activities.", added Mr Maggiar.

Furthermore, investing in the modernisation of education and training systems is necessary to reply to new demands on the labour market. In this regard, SMEunited reiterates the importance of upskilling and reskilling and of apprenticeships.

Following the Action Plan presented by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Schmit, the SMEunited Board of Directors reaffirmed SME priorities towards the Social Summit, on 7 May in Porto.

SMEunited, formally known as UEAPME, is the association of crafts and SMEs in Europe with around 70 member organisations from over 30 European countries. SMEunited is a recognised employers' organisation and European Social Partner and acts on behalf of crafts and SMEs in the European Social Dialogue and in discussions with the EU institutions.

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