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The European Union deserves a future proofed budget

19 February 2020
by smeunited -- last modified 19 February 2020

Ahead of the extraordinary European Council on the next Multiannual Financial Framework, SMEunited President Alban Maggiar reminds European leaders on the priorities ahead. Europe will only be able to provide welfare to its people, if it invests in future competitiveness, based on a greener and digital economy. Therefore, President Maggiar asks the European Council to agree on a budget framework able to deliver on these priorities.


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"There is no doubt that finding a balanced compromise on a future Multiannual Financial Framework for the European Union will be difficult", states SMEunited President Alban Maggiar.

However, "European SMEs expect that the Member States agree on a budget framework, which replies to the real challenges ahead", reminds Mr Maggiar. Even if the new figures on the table make some steps back compared to the original proposal from the European Commission, SMEs still welcome its general orientation.

The most important elements for SMEs to ensure a future proofed European budget are: (1) a strong focus on SMEs, innovation, digitalisation and greening in the decentralised managed programmes, (2) InvestEU to ensure access to finance, (3) a DigitalEurope Programme, which reaches out to real SMEs and (4) support for highly innovative SMEs via the European Innovation Council of Horizon Europe.

"It goes without saying that SMEs would appreciate if European Institutions would have more resources to push for the needed reforms," regrets Mr Maggiar, however he acknowledges for "Member States having to respond to their tax payers concerns."

Having to deal with limited resources, "it is even more important to focus on investments in future growth, jobs and welfare instead of paying to protect uncompetitive structures", underlines President Maggiar. Therefore, SMEunited welcomes the prioritisation of greening and digitalisation of Europe's economy to make it more innovative.

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, it represents more than 12 million enterprises with around 55 million employees across Europe. SMEunited is also a recognised employers' organisation and European Social Partner. SMEunited was formally known as UEAPME.

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