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SMEs continue to recover and drive Europe's economy

20 November 2018
by smeunited -- last modified 20 November 2018

Ten years after the start of the financial crisis and the adoption of the Small Business Act, the European Commission presented today its new SME Performance Review at the SME Assembly 2018.


In a first reaction, SMEunited President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller stated "the study demonstrates again that SMEs are the backbone of Europe's economy and continue its strong recovery". Currently, SMEs are the main drivers for growth in Europe and Ms Rabmer-Koller encouraged European and national politicians "to respond to the main concerns of SMEs and to strengthen SMEs for the Future of Europe."

The SME Performance Review of the European Commission proves that ten years after the start of the crisis, SMEs on average have recovered and are back at pre-crisis level. Even more so, over the last years, SMEs have become the drivers of growth and job creation as shown by the latest SMEunited Barometer.

In reaction on the new figures presented by the European Commission, SMEunited President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller was pleased by the positive results for SMEs and the recognition of their important role, as shown by the official study. However, Ms Ramber-Koller warned that "currently growth is mainly driven by internal demand, while some risks accumulate on the external side by referring to trade conflicts and Brexit." SMEs expect politicians to work on positive solutions to cover these risks.

At the SME Assembly, Ms Rabmer-Koller also presented the SMEs' priority demands for the next legislative term to the national policy makers and future MEPs. "The role of SMEs for economic and social progress has to be recognised and they need an entrepreneurial society and an SME-friendly environment to strengthen the future of Europe", said Ms Rabmer-Koller when presenting the SMEunited Memorandum. As main challenges for SMEs, she mentioned access to skilled staff, reducing red tape and appropriate finance as crucial factors "to allow SMEs to exploit business opportunities offered by digitalisation, circular economy and global markets."

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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