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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.

Working conditions: even more burdens for employers
The European Parliament (EMPL) vote on compromise amendments on transparent and predictable working conditions goes further than the Commission’s proposal on issues such as information, predictability of work, non-standard forms of employment, training, probationary period, transition to another form of employment or employers’ sanctions.

Standards are crucial for market access for SMEs
tandards are everywhere! They affect our daily life whether we realise it or not. Every year on 14th October, the World Standards Day celebrates the creation of the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO).

European leaders must avoid putting growth at risk
At the Tripartite Social Summit dealing with 'Reinforcing competitiveness, sustainable job creation and social fairness in the EU', UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller put forward the fact that competitiveness should be tackled in a global context, since current political uncertainties - such as the trade conflicts, protectionism , Brexit, and skills shortage - have a direct impact on SME expectations and further developments.

SMEs show economic stability at high level with confidence at 81.7
Today, ahead of next week's Tripartite Social Summit and European Council, UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller presented the latest EU SME Barometer.

Digitalisation is a key challenge for SMEs
EAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller met with European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip to discuss the SMEs' challenges to digitalise. UEAPME wants to make sure that all SMEs are on the digital train. Fair and transparent rules, skills development, modern infrastructure and SME-friendly standards are crucial to achieve this objective.

Juncker Commission must not forget real economy in its final spurt
In a first reaction to President Jean-Claude Juncker’s “State of the European Union” speech, UEAPME welcomes the fact that Juncker wants to focus on delivery for the last year of his Commission.

UEAPME urges policy makers to strengthen SMEs
UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller discussed the Multiannual Financial Framework with Commissioner Günther Oettinger, emphasising that SMEs ask for a more dedicated investment in innovation, especially when using new technologies such as digitalisation.

Deepening of the EMU needs a realistic approach
At a conference on the Economic and Monetary Union in the framework of the new Austrian Presidency of the European Union in Linz (AT), UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller discussed the deepening and convergence of the EMU with the main players in the reform process.

EU Industry Strategy has to be supported by next MFF
On 27 June, UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller participated in the second meeting of the High-level Industrial Roundtable chaired by Commission Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Bieńkowska, who advises the European Commission on a new European Strategy for Industrial Policy.

European Labour Authority should serve the purpose of SMEs
UEAPME sees the European efforts to further promote cross-border mobility and a better functioning of the Single Market as a positive step for SMEs.

A strong Europe needs strong SMEs - and vice versa
At the UEAPME General Assembly in Sofia on 15 June, SME representatives from all over Europe gathered. They discussed key topics for SMEs with the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev, amongst others their competitiveness, innovation capacity and the EU Budget post 2020. To ensure SMEs can operate in a level playing field, the UEAPME General Assembly insisted that the SME definition is still fit for purpose, emphasising the 250 headcount in the current definition should be maintained.

Single Market Programme will continue to support SMEs' competitiveness
UEAPME welcomes the support specifically dedicated to SMEs proposed by the European Commission for the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.

Horizon Europe: Innovation Council needs adequate budget to deliver
Europe's SMEs very much welcome the strong focus on innovation in today’s Commission proposal of for Horizon Europe, the next framework programme for Research and Innovation.

REACH registration deadline: SMEs struggle to comply
UEAPME is highly concerned about recent developments around REACH, the chemicals' regulation, and the future availability of resources for the European economy.

UEAPME puts forward SME proposals for European plastics strategy
UEAPME welcomes the Commission's communication on 'A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy' in its position paper published toda. However, according to UEAPME, one major key element of this strategy should be awareness-raising campaigns aimed at changing the way European society deals with plastics.

GDPR: SMEs call for a period of grace
In a joint letter to Commissioner Vera Jourova, UEAPME, EUROCHAMBRES and HOTREC ask the Commission to recommend, to Member States and to the national Data Protection Authorities, not to immediately impose fines on SMEs during the first year of application and to continue to invest in support and advice for small businesses.

MFF proposal sends positive signal, but needs sharpening
In a first reaction on today's European Commission proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework, UEAPME called it a positive signal for European businesses and welcomes the increase in support to investment in future growth and jobs.

European SMEs welcome Commission's proposal on Platforms
Today, the European Commission published its proposal for a Regulation to tackle unfair practices from platforms towards businesses. UEAPME warmly welcomes this proposal as an important step forward in ensuring fairness in the Digital Single Market.

EU-Budget Post-2020 has to provide strong support to SMEs
Ahead of the European Commission's expected decision on its proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), UEAPME publishes the SME priorities as regards the European budget for the next 7 years. According to UEAPME, the next MFF has to aim for making Europe more competitive and a better place to live in instead of trying to protect old and inefficient structures.

"New Deal for Consumers": missed chance for SME-friendly law
Today, the European Commission published its package on the "New Deal for Consumers" – a targeted revision of the European consumer law. The revision follows the Fitness Check of consumer and marketing laws and the parallel evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive which had the aim to identify excessive regulatory burdens, overlaps and inconsistencies that may have appeared over time. UEAPME states that the result is a missed chance to simplify the consumer acquis and that too much emphasis is put on enforcement.

Economic and social progress cannot happen without SMEs
At the Tripartite Social Summit focussing on 'Delivering on the European Pillar of Social Rights' (EPSR), UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller put forward the fact that we need a strong economy and growth to achieve social progress.

Self-employed must have better access to social protection
Representing entrepreneurs and self-employed in Europe, and in response to the new Commission initiative as part of the Social Fairness Package, UEAPME advocates that all workers and self-employed have access to basic levels of social protection at an affordable cost.

SMEs say no to Commission approach for definitive VAT system
In a position paper, UEAPME presents quite a negative assessment of the European Commission's proposal for the first steps towards a Single EU VAT system.

New working conditions put too much red tape on SMEs
In its newly adopted position on the proposal for a directive on transparent and predictable working conditions, UEAPME expressed serious concerns about the red tape and complexity of the new directive. The aim of the directive is not only to inform workers of the conditions applicable to an employment relationship but also to ensure new rights (such as the predictability of work).

Digitalisation is crucial for SMEs' competitiveness
"Entrepreneurs need an enabling legal framework and an environment with adequate support structures to guide their company through digital transformation. Therefore, UEAPME calls for increasing measures on skills development, financial support, capacity building, an appropriate infrastructure and standardisation" stated UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller during a meeting with Commissioner Bienkowska.

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