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SMEs in the EU

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

UEAPME puts focus on SMEs at Industry Day 22 February 2018, 16:20 CET
Today, at the first meeting of the High-level Industrial Roundtable with Commission Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Bieńkowska, UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller put forward the need to have a specific focus on SMEs within a renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy.

Sales of goods: a missed opportunity 22 February 2018, 12:41 CET
Today, after two years of debate, IMCO (European Parliament Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee) voted its report on the proposal concerning contracts for the sales of goods. UEAPME acknowledges the Committee's efforts to find a reasonable compromise for all parties and appreciates that provisions such as the lifespan guarantee have not been introduced. However, SMEs regret that the proposal, as it stands now, does not live up to the expected potential initially foreseen, notably establishing full harmonisation of guarantees and remedies at European level.

EuroCommerce reminds retailers and wholesalers to be ready for the EU Data Protection Regulation 12 February 2018, 22:50 CET
With 100 days left before the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May, EuroCommerce is reminding all retailers and wholesalers to take the necessary action to be ready and compliant by that date, echoing the recent European Commission warning on the urgent need to step up preparations at Member State level.

EU misses the mark with Geoblocking decision 07 February 2018, 22:58 CET
On 6 of February the European Parliament Plenary approved the agreement on the geo-blocking regulation, reached in trilogue by the European Institutions 2017. ESBA welcomes any initiatives that intends to simplify operating within the Single Market for businesses and citizens. Unfortunately, the decision made yesterday has done the exact opposite for small businesses.

Geo-blocking will discourage SMEs' online trade 06 February 2018, 21:10 CET
Today, the European Parliament's plenary ratified the agreement reached in trilogue by adopting the regulation to end unjustified geo-blocking. While SMEs support the fight against unjustified discrimination based on nationality and residency, they remain highly concerned with the Geo-blocking Regulation that leaves many open questions and does not guarantee legal certainty to traders. This will not facilitate increase of cross-border e-commerce.

GDPR: SMEs call on Member States to support implementation 30 January 2018, 15:43 CET
Today, UEAPME met Commissioners Ansip and Jourova with other stakeholders to discuss the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entering into force on 25th May.

Retail & wholesale support EU Plastics Strategy 18 January 2018, 16:22 CET
The retail and wholesale sector sees the publication yesterday of the EU Plastics Strategy as a welcome step towards a more circular economy. Today's plastic strategy will hopefully transform the way plastics are currently produced, used and discarded. Retailers and wholesalers are committed to the environment and believe that this new approach can bring new opportunities, provided the right legislative proposals are put forward and agreed in the EU.

Brussels proposes more flexibility over VAT rates 23 January 2018, 13:28 CET
The European Commission proposed Thursday new rules which would give EU Member States more flexibility to set Value Added Tax (VAT) rates and to create a better tax environment to help SMEs flourish.

VAT for small businesses and setting VAT rates - background guide 18 January 2018, 16:06 CET
The European Commission proposed on 18 January new rules to give EU Member States more flexibility to set Value Added Tax (VAT) rates and to create a better tax environment to help SMEs flourish.

The European SME definition is still fit for purpose 19 December 2017, 18:28 CET
In its position paper published today, UEAPME opposes any possible changes to the SME definition. A first assessment with member organisations shows a broad support for the current definition, which is still fit for purpose. Any widening would only lead to including more beneficiaries and possible reduction of support for the micro enterprises who most need specific measures.

Retailers support measures to help farmers in Omnibus Regulation - if they support competition 15 December 2017, 00:09 CET
Responding to the adoption today by the European Parliament and Council of the text agreed in October in trilogue discussions on the Omnibus Regulation Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce said:

Cross-border parcel delivery boost for European SMEs 14 December 2017, 23:59 CET
The EU institutions provisionally agreed Thursday on new rules to make cross-border parcel delivery tariffs more transparent and allow regulators to better monitor the cross-border parcel delivery market.

Cross-border parcel delivery 14 December 2017, 23:02 CET
EU negotiators reached a provisional agreement on 13 December 2017 to make prices for cross-border parcel delivery services more transparent and affordable and to increase regulatory oversight of the EU parcel market.

EFSI 2.0 will give further push for investment and innovation 12 December 2017, 18:10 CET
UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller welcomes today's final approval of EFSI 2.0 at the European Parliament.

UEAPME elects its representatives for Europe's SMEs 07 December 2017, 12:59 CET
Ulrike Rabmer-Koller was unanimously re-elected for a second two-year mandate as President of UEAPME, the European Craft and SME Association. In her acceptance speech, Ms Rabmer-Koller stated that she would continue her efforts to strengthen the organisation as the "Voice of SMEs in Europe" and put forward her policy priorities (better regulation, access to finance, skills shortage, and digitalisation).

Retailers and wholesalers welcome easier cross-border VAT filing, abolition of VAT-free parcels, but deplores late implementation 05 December 2017, 17:44 CET
EuroCommerce welcomed the adoption today of the VAT proposals related to electronic commerce.

EU VAT revamp to make system 'fit for digital economy' 07 December 2017, 23:48 CET
EU finance ministers adopted new rules Tuesday to facilitate the collection of VAT when consumers buy goods and services online, and making it easier for online businesses to comply with VAT obligations.

Profits of Europe's SMEs on the rise: ECB survey 29 November 2017, 23:37 CET
Smaller businesses in Europe have reported increasing profits for the first time since the beginning in 2009 of a European Central Bank survey, which also reports a higher willingness of banks to lend.

Brussels acts to protect Europe's know-how 29 November 2017, 20:35 CET
Europe's smaller companies will be encouraged to invest in innovation and creativity, under EU Commission plans presented Wednesday to strengthen protection of intellectual property rights.

Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement 29 November 2017, 20:22 CET
The European Commission presented on 29 November 2017 measures to ensure that intellectual property rights are well protected, thereby encouraging European companies, in particular SMEs and start-ups, to invest in innovation and creativity.

SMEs are still the driving force of European economy 24 November 2017, 11:40 CET
“Entrepreneurs need a stimulating environment without unnecessary administrative burdens, where people with the right skills can cooperate to ensure the development of SMEs and where these skills provide access to the resources required to run their business” stated UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller on the occasion of the European SME Assembly 2017.

Europe's smaller businesses back to pre-crisis employment levels 23 November 2017, 22:59 CET
Employment levels and value added in Europe's smaller businesses rose for the third consecutive year in 2016, exceeding 2008 levels for the first time since the financial crisis, an EU report showed Thursday.

Retail and wholesale press for progress on better online tools for SMEs 23 November 2017, 13:08 CET
Speaking today at the European Parliament’s SME Intergroup, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren pressed for the European Parliament and Council to accelerate progress on the proposal for a Single Digital Gateway to provide information, assistance and problem- solving services.

Skills shortages: a threat for SMEs 22 November 2017, 15:16 CET
The 2nd European Vocational Skills Week is a real opportunity to showcase the high value of Vocational Education and Training in Europe. It is a unique opportunity to promote and recognise the importance of vocational skills acquired on the job through national, regional and local events taking place across Europe, many of them organised by UEAPME members.

Social dimension needed for more jobs and fairness 17 November 2017, 11:40 CET
At the Extraordinary Meeting of the Gothenburg Summit between the EU Institutions and the European Social Partners, UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller highlighted that UEAPME’s first priority for the European Pillar of Social Rights is to better integrate the economic and social dimension.