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Wake-up call: Europe Must Not Fall Behind

16 October 2019
by smeunited -- last modified 16 October 2019

Call for a strong European SME Strategy combining competitiveness, fairness and sustainability


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At the Tripartite Social Summit on Growth and Employment, ahead of the European Council, SMEunited President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller called for a strong European SME Strategy combining competitiveness, fairness and sustainability. She is convinced that progress on the economic, social and environment dimensions for Europe cannot happen without SMEs. Europe will only be able to tackle the challenges of digitalisation and greening of our economy if it keeps the 24 million SMEs on the transition train. Therefore, Europe has to stop talking and to come forward with concrete measures and action, otherwise Europe will lose competitiveness and falls behind other regions in the world.

"The latest SMEunited Barometer shows a clear downward trend and that our economy is at a critical junction. Political uncertainties, in particular the Brexit perspective and the trade war, as well as quite a negative outlook for global demand, result in a decrease in SME confidence. This can no longer be compensated by the positive development of internal demand."

"A no-deal Brexit will have a massive impact on SMEs and on growth in Europe. Reaching an agreement to avoid tremendously more administrative burdens and higher costs for SMEs should be the objective."

"I am convinced that European and national Social Partners have to play their role in order to make the transition to a greener and a digital economy also economically and socially sustainable."

Finally, Ms Rabmer-Koller called on the EU institutions to act now. Europe has to speed up and take action, or competitiveness will be lost and Europe will fall behind.

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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