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SME Assembly marks cooperation for sustainable and resilient SME future

16 November 2020
by smeunited -- last modified 16 November 2020

SMEunited highlights SME demands at the start of the SME Assembly. Once a year, the European "SME community" gathers to exchange views on SME policy and actions to be taken. This year the focus is on "building a sustainable and resilient future together".


SMEunited asks the EU to help viable SMEs to survive, tackle late payments and facilitate the digital and green transition.

The Autumn SMEunited Barometer shows that SMEs are heavily impacted by the crisis. Especially lockdowns had a dramatic impact on many services sectors. The situation for autumn was far from going back to normal and the second wave may stop the rebound completely. The pandemic drops SME confidence to an all-time low of 54,2 points.

In a reaction to the keynote speeches by German Federal Minister Altmaier and Commissioner Breton, Policy Vice-President Mielind welcomed the Observatory on Late Payments announced by Commissioner Breton. She insisted that the Observatory tackles situations where long payment terms are imposed. In addition she asked the Commission to open infringement procedures against Member States not complying with the Directive. Finally Mrs Mielind requested a revision of the Late Payment Directive in order to ensure a standard payment term of 30 days.

Continuing the discussion on the digital and green transition, she highlighted the need for an well-functioning broadband infrastructure and equal access to data for SMEs. Policy Vice-President Mielind concluded by requesting support for training on digital skills for entrepreneurs.

President Maggiar participated in the session "Maintaining businesses afloat in times of crisis". He advocated to have solvency support instruments to be put in place to ensure re-capitalisation of SMEs. Additionally, he called on governments to set up early warning mechanisms to provide advice to SMEs in difficulties.

Finally, Mr. Maggiar called on Member States to cooperate with SME organisations to design and implement their Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRP). In this way they can guarantee that the reforms and investments through the RRP's tackle the priorities for SMEs to build a sustainable and resilient future.

SMEunited, formally known as UEAPME, is the association of crafts and SMEs in Europe with around 70 member organisations from over 30 European countries. SMEunited is a recognised employers' organisation and European Social Partner and acts on behalf of crafts and SMEs in the European Social Dialogue and in discussions with the EU institutions.

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