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Green Deal: Lights and Shadows for SMEs

11 December 2019
by smeunited -- last modified 11 December 2019

The overarching strategy clearly offers opportunities, nevertheless some key actions very likely not SME-friendly


SMEunited supports the efforts of the Green Deal to push for equal engagement of the EU's international partners to fight climate change as well as the actions boosting some of SMEs' traditional markets, such as repair and refurbishing. However, a "wait and see" position is taken on other important aspects such as the instruments to increase the EU's 2030 climate targets, the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan and the new Circular Economy package. Coordination with other key strategies - the SME Strategy and the Industrial strategy is crucial.

"The Green Deal must be a growth strategy aimed at the EU's future competitiveness, allowing innovative, eco-friendly SMEs to develop the technologies needed to fight climate change inside and outside the EU and traditional and energy intensive SMEs to make a successful transition to more sustainable business models, while pushing for equal level of ambition worldwide!" reiterated President Rabmer-Koller following the Commission's presentation of the Green Deal today in front of the European Parliament plenary.

"While it is clearly positive for the EU to strengthen its 'climate diplomacy' at international level to achieve the implementation of the Paris Agreement, since the EU's GHG emissions will represent less than 10% at worldwide level in 2030, the main components of the Green Deal must be SME-compatible to be successful", went on saying Ms. Rabmer-Koller. In this context the President already gave some suggestions:

"An increase of the 2030 climate targets has to entail in-depth impact assessments and should  go hand in hand with an EU decarbonisation fund supporting SMEs in their transition to climate neutral business models, while the upcoming Just Transition Fund should also be extended to SMEs in regions heavily dependent on fossil fuels production, if we want them to become competitive again."

As for the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan "It must absolutely be avoided that efforts to develop a green taxonomy result in traditional SMEs complying with legislation to be excluded from financing, as these businesses need more support for the high upfront investments required by circular and greener business models", pointed out President Rabmer-Koller.

"We expect a lot from the new Circular Economy 2.0 action plan, since it can pave the way to more repair, re-use and refurbishing activities, which are typically SME performed", she continued, "However, instruments entailing a huge increase of costs and red tape for SMEs, such as a mandatory Product Environmental Footprint!"

"As a last point I expect the Green Deal to be coordinated with the SME Strategy and the Industrial Strategy, in order to guarantee consistency and concrete results", concluded Ms. Rabmer-Koller.

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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