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Green Deal: Success lies in SMEs

26 February 2020
by smeunited -- last modified 26 February 2020

The Green Deal will be successful if it creates the right conditions for new business opportunities for SMEs.


SMEs represent 99,8% of all businesses in the EU and are indispensable for our society. The environmental challenges need to be tackled by creating a societal transformation making the EU fit for worldwide competition. This means substantial investments in R&D, skills and digitalisation, new infrastructure, an Internal Market with a highly integrated energy network and stronger EU climate leadership worldwide. Specific SME impact assessments should guarantee the EU does not develop in the wrong direction.

"SMEs are key to the success of the Green Deal given their role in the EU's economy and society and their important contribution to sustainability. Look at their activity in the eco-industry, in energy efficiency, in the building and transport sectors as well as in areas like maintenance and repair". This is one of the main key messages highlighted by SMEunited's President Alban Maggiar when presenting the association's first reaction to the Green Deal this week.

The general paper is accompanied by 4 positions dealing with the first upcoming initiatives:  Climate Law, Industrial Strategy, New Circular Economy Action Plan and 'Farm to Fork' Strategy.

"The transition to a greener Europe will not happen overnight and many SMEs still find the adoption of more sustainable business models challenging", added President Maggiar. He suggests that "The Green Deal should, therefore, set up a market-based and regulatory framework ensuring that the transition to greener business models is a real opportunity for SMEs".

"In practice the Green Deal should be the strategy to guarantee that Europe reacts to the climate change, and at the same time remains competitive and attractive worldwide in the future!" The President highlighted further, by specifying that "This should be done through an enabling environment stimulating massive investments in R&D, based on technology neutrality, as well as in alternative infrastructure, skills and digitalisation. It should ensure long-term certainty for businesses and unburden SMEs in order to make their transition successful. Access to finance for the high upfront investments should be made easier as well".

As a last point President Maggiar insisted that "When striving for sustainability, competitiveness should be guaranteed by three main objectives: 1) the impact on SMEs of any new policy and legislation should be assessed specifically, 2) a highly integrated intra EU energy network which strengthens the internal market should be implemented and 3) the EU's 'climate diplomacy' should step up to achieve the worldwide implementation of the Paris Agreement".

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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