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Recovery and Resilience Plans must fully integrate SMEs needs

14 October 2020
by smeunited -- last modified 14 October 2020

Solvency support, digitalisation, green transformation, employability and fast deployment of recovery funds are the five key issues raised by SMEunited President Maggiar at the Tripartite Social Summit. He also underlined the importance of involving social partners in developing National Recovery and Resilience Plans.


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On the occasion of this TSS, President Maggiar pointed out that "the main concern of SMEs is that insolvency becomes a serious risk, even for viable enterprises." Referring to the latest SMEunited Barometer, he added: "SME confidence dropped to 54.6 points, even lower than during the financial crisis. Therefore, a prolongation of crisis measures and the creation of solvency support instruments is crucial." Liquidity and recapitalisation are at stake.

Concerning digitalisation, he mentioned that SMEs have made giant steps during the lockdown. However, to further adapt and  fully grasp the benefits of the digital economy, "it is important to ensure the necessary infrastructure, access to data and a level playing field", Mr. Maggiar commented.

When it comes to the green transformation, he indicated: "Due to the pandemic, the investment capacity from many SMEs is strongly reduced. New legislation must be realistic and certain and should be accompanied by strong supporting measures."

Looking forward, the President of SMEunited emphasised that upskilling and reskilling are important for requalification of unemployed and persons under short-time work schemes.

To conclude, he addressed Commission and Council to guarantee a full involvement of social partners, and especially SME organisations, in the drafting and roll out of National Recovery and Resilience Plans. Mr. Maggiar expressed appreciation for the adoption of the financial package by the Council in July. Nevertheless, he stated to regret the cuts on important European Programmes like the Solvency Support Instrument, the Just Transition Fund, InvestEU, Horizon Europe and Erasmus. Finally, the President of SMEunited emphasised a swift agreement is essential now to have the financial means available as soon as possible, for SMEs and their workers.

As every six months, the European Social Partners met with the Presidents of the European Council (Charles Michel), the European Commission (Ursula von der Leyen) as well as  the European Presidency (represented by Chancellor Angela Merkel) to exchange views ahead of the European Council meeting. This time, the topic on the agenda was "Implementing together an inclusive economic and social recovery in Europe".

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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