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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.

"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.

UEAPME puts focus on SMEs at Industry Day
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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'
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

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