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SMEunited Supports New Von Der Leyen Agenda

17 July 2019
by smeunited -- last modified 18 July 2019

SMEunited embraces the election of Ursula von der Leyen and offers the support of SMEs to make a stronger Europe a reality


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Upon the election of Ursula von der Leyen as new President of the European Commission, SMEunited President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller welcomed the outcome: "I am convinced that Ms von der Leyen is the right person to lead the European Union through the challenging time ahead of us. The agenda she put forward is ambitious, but tackles the right questions Europe is confronted with. Europe must become more united, stronger and forward looking to react to climate change, ensure fair globalisation, and foster digitalisation."

SMEunited fully supports the new Commission President's saying that only a strong economy can provide the resources to tackle these challenges and welcomes that she announced a dedicated SME strategy to achieve her goals.

"I want to congratulate Ursula von der Leyen for her election as President of the European Commission, and I am convinced that the European Parliament made the right decision by following up on her invitation to work together for a stronger, more united and forward looking Europe," said SMEunited President Rabmer-Koller in her first reaction to yesterday's vote. With 'A Union that strives for more' Ms von der Leyen has put forward a very ambitious programme that answers challenges regarding climate change, digitalisation and globalisation.

"Her commitments can contribute to strengthen Europe's economy and society and will increase welfare and social stability," underlined Ms Rabmer-Koller. "I am very glad that the new President has followed our request for a new holistic SME policy in announcing a dedicated SME strategy in her programme." Von der Leyen's commitments for a level playing field in the single market and fairness as regards trade relations and taxation are especially important for SMEs. Furthermore, SMEunited appreciates that she is aware that wages, including minimum wages, should be agreed by collective agreements and climate measures have to be put in a global context, even if Europe should lead.

Last but not least, she offered the "full support of SMEunited to ensure that the programme will strengthen the 24 million SMEs in Europe." The common aim is to make Europe more entrepreneurial and allow SMEs to innovate, create jobs, deliver training, and make Europe a better place to live. "With our SME Policy Agenda SME 2024 we presented concrete proposals of how this can be achieved", she said as an invitation to cooperate with the next European Commission to achieve these goals.

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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