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European SMEs call for support to realise EU goal

03 December 2020
by smeunited -- last modified 03 December 2020

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission addressed the SMEunited General Assembly today. She highlighted the EU funds that will be invested in the recovery and transition. SME representatives from around Europe issued a Declaration demanding a speedy approval of Next Generation EU and a focus on solvency support.


President von der Leyen in her keynote address highlighted that the crisis made it clear that society can count on SMEs, also in difficult times. Small and medium enterprises around Europe shifted their production towards protective equipment, disinfectants and ventilators in a very short time. Looking forward, she invited SME organisations to join forces for true recovery.

In their declaration, the SMEunited General Assembly calls on Member States and the European Parliament to approve without delay the Next Generation EU – with the Recovery and Resilience Facility – and to focus on solvency support for SMEs.

With 40% of European SMEs on the verge of insolvency, SME representatives urge EU Governments to take their responsibility. Moreover, authorities at all levels should align and cooperate with SME organisations for the design and implementation of Recovery and Resilience Plans.

"The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic shifted the priorities to immediate crisis management and initiatives essential for the EU's post-crisis recovery", stated President Maggiar. "Now it is time to implement the initiatives for the recovery of Europe which can only be done with the involvement of SMEs", he emphasised.

SMEs ask for better regulation to put the "Think Small First" principle into practice, that shall ensure their compliance with legislation in a cost efficient and easy manner. The Single Market should remain effective during the pandemic and be strengthened for the future.

To further drive digital transformation, safe and well-developed infrastructure, standards and connectivity are required. In addition, a level playing field, as well as an equal access to data must be ensured for SMEs to maintain their activity and develop new products, services and business models.

Finally, SME representatives reiterate their support for the Green Deal. They insist on a facilitating and unburdening policy to support SMEs towards a circular and carbon-neutral economy. Sustainable finance has to ensure access to funding for all SMEs. The supply of energy at affordable prices has to be guaranteed.

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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