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European craft and SME employers' organisation

SMEunited is the association of Crafts and SMEs in Europe with around 70 member organisations from over 30 European countries. SMEunited represents national cross-sectoral Craft and SME federations, European SME branch organisations and associate members. Combined, we represent more than 12 million enterprises with around 55 million employees across Europe. SMEunited is also a recognised employers' organisation and European Social Partner. SMEunited’s mission is shaping Europe for SMEs and shaping SMEs for Europe.

The Social Pillar should better respect SME needs
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

SMEs recovering across Europe, but negative impact from Brexit
The SME Business Climate Index reaches 75.5, reflecting a stable and positive situation for European SMEs. The trends in North and South Europe are similar. In the North, the countries dependent on the UK's economy have been negatively affected by the Brexit, while in the South, the negative but improving Greek situation and the complex economic and political situation in Italy have slowed down the recovery.

Shortening the deadline for label replacement is completely irresponsible
In a joint letter to the Slovak Presidency of the Council, regarding the revision of the Energy Efficiency Labelling Regulation, UEAPME, EuroCommerce and Independent Retail Europe spoke up against the Ministers for Energy’s decision to shorten of the timeframe for label replacement.

SMEs need more supportive conditions for jobs and growth
Today, the European Social Partners met with the European Council and Commission, as well as with the Troika of Head of States at the Tripartite Social Summit, to discuss the refugee crisis, digitalisation and an improved involvement of Social Partners in European Governance. Ulrike Rabmer-Koller, President of UEAPME, focused her intervention at the meeting on how the EU policy can help strengthen the economic recovery and support SMEs.

The EC posting of workers revision opens new debates
UEAPME, the European Employers Association for SMEs, takes note of the EC proposal revising the posting of workers directive.

Better involvement of SMEs in governance discussed with VP Dombrovskis
Yesterday afternoon, Ulrike Rabmer-Koller President of UEAPME met EC Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis to discuss better involvement of SME Employers’ Associations in economic governance at European and national level.

EU SME policy has to move from words to actions
Ulrike Rabmer-Koller, used her first official visit to Brussels as the new President of the European Crafts and SME Association UEAPME, to discuss future priorities of Europe's SME policy with EC Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, Commissioner Avramopoulos, Members of Parliament, representatives from Commission services and other stakeholders.

CMU Action Plan tackles right challenges, but much work still lies ahead
Today, the European Commission published its Action Plan for creating a real Capital Market Union for Europe. As a first reaction, UEAPME Secretary General Peter Faross, underlined the importance of a Capital Market Union as an essential pillar for a real Single Market.

Tripartite Social Summit: Put competitiveness first, including in Climate Policy
On the eve of the European Council, at the Tripartite Summit, European Social Partners met with the Heads of State, the European Union President Van Rompuy and the EU Commission President Barroso on the topic “how to stimulate investments to create more jobs”. UEAPME – the European Craft and SME association – insists on the need to make best use of the growth momentum by putting SMEs’ competitiveness at the forefront.

Implementation of the Green Action Plan for SMEs risks to fail
Today, the European Commission published its new Green Action Plan for SMEs presenting a solid list of actions aimed at improving SMEs' resource efficiency.

Long-term finance: positive on regulation but not enough for SMEs
UEAPME welcomes progress on regulatory aspects, but criticises poor proposals for SME finance

New de minimis regulation on State aid receives lukewarm welcome from SMEs - UEAPME
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers’ organisation, gave a lukewarm welcome to the new de minimis Regulation on State aid, adopted yesterday by the European Commission.

Heads of State need to deliver now on youth expectations for jobs, say SMEs
Gunilla Almgren, UEAPME President, represented Crafts and SMEs in Paris during the conference where Heads of State and Labour Ministers joined for a follow-up and first assessment of the initiatives taken since the Berlin meet-up in July.

SME survey: Recession comes to an end; recovery at arm's reach
Index nearing 70-point line; smaller companies in services and construction hardest hit; recovery on its way

New EC de minimis aid proposal ignores the reality of SMEs, says UEAPME
Ahead of the multilateral meeting on the de minimis aid Regulation that the European Commission has with Member States on Friday 20th September, UEAPME – the European craft and SME employers' organisation – puts out a warning that the new Commission proposal is not in line with the reality of SMEs.

UEAPME presents its main achievements for Crafts & SMEs
UEAPME, the European Craft and SME association, is the agenda setter for SME policy in Europe and defends the interests of Crafts and SMEs towards European Institutions and other European stakeholders. Today in Brussels, UEAPME President Gunilla Almgren presented UEAPME's most important achievements since the beginning of her Presidency in January 2012. "SMEs do not have the necessary resources to fight their battles alone neither at national level nor – of course – in a European context. Our role is therefore crucial to them and we try our best to improve the environment for Crafts and SMEs in the EU", President Gunilla Almgren introduced.

SMEs miss support measures in the Environmental Action Programme
UEAPME welcomes the specific references to SMEs but regrets that the set of SME measures in the Environmental programme fall short

SMEs say no to collective redress, but react positively on antitrust damage proposal
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.

UEAPME requests more focus on innovation for SMEs
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.

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