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SMEs in the EU

News and information about the European Union's policies for small and medium-sized businesses.

SOTEU: Big ambitions must match with realism
SMEunited supports the vision and ambitions put forward by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her first State of the European Union Speech. "In order to make them a reality we now urgently need to move to action", says President Maggiar. SMEs expect concrete next steps and realistic time frames to master the adaptation to a fairer, greener and more digital economy.

Retail vital to European Recovery, but needs help - investments and the right policies
Speaking today at a virtual conference held by the World Retail Congress, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren set out the challenges facing retail across Europe and the vital role of the sector in supporting European economic recovery:

EU agrees new rules on excise duties for alcohol
The EU Council agreed new rules governing excise duties on alcohol Thursday, paving the way for an improved business environment and for reduced costs for small alcohol-producing businesses.

EU and UK SMEs urge for an agreement on Brexit
In a letter to the Brexit negotiators SMEunited reiterates the necessity to promptly reach an agreement defining the framework for the future EU-UK relations. EU and UK SMEs are concerned that there is still no progress in negotiations. They urge for a robust trade agreement which supports the integrity of the Single Market whilst maintaining close business relations between the EU and the UK.

Brussels to ease capital markets rules to aid business recovery
A Capital Markets Recovery Package, outlined by the EU Commission Friday, amends the Prospectus Regulation, MiFID II and securitisation rules to help businesses to raise capital on public markets.

EU Recovery Package: a brave step but lacks SME component
SMEunited welcomes the European Council deal on the Recovery package. European leaders took an important step, which is a strong sign of cross-border solidarity amid the pandemic. However, important instruments for SMEs were cut severely.

Brussels presents new employment agenda
The European Commission outlined a package Wednesday to give improve opportunities for young people in a post-Covid Europe to develop their potential and thrive in green and digital transitions.

Skills vital to digital and sustainability transition and economic recovery
Welcoming the updated EU Skills Agenda for Europe published today, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said:

SMEunited welcomes the new European Skills Agenda
With the new Skills Agenda, the European Commission acknowledges that there is a political momentum for a new approach to skills. SMEunited fully shares the view that it is time for stepping up investment in people's skills. More than ever we all need to use the tools and funds at disposal to boost education, training and skills development.

European Skills Agenda
The Commission presented on 1 July the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience. It sets ambitious, quantitative objectives for upskilling (improving existing skills) and reskilling (training in new skills) to be achieved within the next 5 years.

Commission report fails to address major loopholes in payment card fees regulation
EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren today expressed regret and disappointment that the Commission’s report on the functioning of the Interchange Fee Regulation did not take account of the mounting evidence of massive rises in card fees not covered by EU regulation:

Renovation Wave: key incentive for SME recovery
The Renovation Wave can be a significant contribution to the economic restart of the EU. SMEs in the construction sector will get a boost from the resources invested to make buildings energy efficient and the turn around initiated towards renewable energy sources.

SMEs welcome Commission GDPR Report
SMEunited welcomes the evaluation report on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), published by the European Commission. The report takes into account the feedback of the Multi-stakeholder Expert Group on the Implementation of the GDPR in which SMEunited actively participated.

Consumers likely to face payments problems after European Banking Authority decision on customer authorisation
Speaking today, EuroCommerce Director-General warned of the consequences of the decision by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and Commission to maintain mandatory Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) by December 2020:

COVID: Europe needs a coherent, responsible approach to free movement of people
As the COVID crisis subsides, and countries across Europe start to reopen their borders, we are concerned that the approach hitherto has been fragmented and creates confusion in the public and among commercial operators in the tourism and retail sector.

Enable SMEs to drive Europe's recovery
At the General Assembly of SMEunited on 5 June, Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis discussed the European Recovery Strategy and Recovery Fund with SMEunited members.

EU grants EUR 314m to innovative companies to combat virus, support recovery
The EU Commission announced the award Monday of nearly EUR 166 million to companies set to combat the coronavirus pandemic, and another EUR 148 million to fund Europe's economic recovery plan.

EU Recovery Package: "repair & prepare" not yet fully green and fair
The EU Recovery Package presented by the European Commission today has reconfirmed its ambition to achieve the European Green Deal, but many key elements including the role of nature are still missing, and backdoors seem to be left open for unsustainable investments to continue.

Recovery Strategy is bold step in right direction
The European Recovery Strategy with its Recovery Fund and the adapted Multiannual Financial is a bold step, said SMEunited President Alban Maggiar in a first reaction to today's announcement from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Farm-to-Fork – helpful step on the road to sustainable supply chains after COVID
Speaking today on the launch of the European Farm-to-Fork Strategy, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said:

Farm to Fork Strategy: work continues for SMEs
In a first reaction to the Farm to Fork Strategy, SMEunited welcomes the comprehensive food-chain approach that acknowledges the role of the various food chain actors in delivering the change towards more sustainable food systems.

SMEs need an ambitious Recovery Strategy
During its e-meeting, SMEunited's Board of Directors addressed the current challenges SMEs face and highlighted the importance of a bold, forward looking and targeted Recovery Strategy including a European Recovery Fund.

Retailers and wholesalers call for urgent amendment of card fees regulation
EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren today pressed the European Commission to act on the growing problems facing retailers and wholesalers resulting from the limited scope of the Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR).

EU to put off new tax rules due to coronavirus crisis
The EU Commission decided Friday to postpone entry into force of two EU taxation measures to take account of difficulties businesses and Member States are currently facing with the coronavirus crisis.

Greener, Fairer and Simpler VAT and Excise duties - and zero VAT and customs duties for protective equipment during COVID-19 crisis
Speaking today on the publication of the EuroCommerce paper on VAT and excise duties, EuroCommerce Director-General commented: