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SMEs in the EU

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

Brussels signals overhaul of EU intellectual property system
The EU Commission published an action pan on Intellectual Property Wednesday, to help smaller firms in particular make the most of their inventions and creations and ensure Europe benefits fully from them.

Retailers and wholesalers need competitive, secure data spaces to drive digital growth
EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren spoke today on the publication of the Commission draft Data Governance Act, which promotes data sharing and a common European Data space:

High time for Europe's consumers to benefit from the single market
Speaking today on the publication of a study by the European Commission on supply restrictions imposed by manufacturers which prevent retailers buying products in one country and selling them in another, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said:

SME Assembly marks cooperation for sustainable and resilient SME future
SMEunited highlights SME demands at the start of the SME Assembly. Once a year, the European "SME community" gathers to exchange views on SME policy and actions to be taken. This year the focus is on "building a sustainable and resilient future together".

Stronger consumer engagement helps drive the green and digital transition - Retailers will make it happen
Speaking today on the launch of the Commission New Consumer Agenda, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said:

SMEs prepare for Brexit in 50 days
SMEunited calls on its member organisations to step up preparatory actions for new EU - UK relations as of 1st January.

SMEunited disagrees with the EC proposal for a directive on minimum wage
SMEunited is strongly disappointed by the Commission’s choice to adopt a Directive for tackling the issue of fair minimum wages in Europe.

Covid crisis needs adequate minimum wages, says EC
The European Commission proposed Wednesday a new directive to ensure that EU workers are protected by adequate minimum wages allowing for a decent living during the COVID crisis.

Adequate minimum wages - background guide
The European Commission proposes on 28 October an EU Directive to ensure that the workers in the Union are protected by adequate minimum wages allowing for a decent living wherever they work.

Recovery and Resilience Plans must fully integrate SMEs needs
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.

Auditors look into effectiveness of EU funding for SMEs
The European Court of Auditors launched a new audit Wednesday to examine whether EU funding for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is helping to make them more competitive and future-proof.

SMEs expect only slow recovery from crisis
The latest EU SME Barometer presented on 12 October shows an unprecedented drop in the Business Climate for SMEs caused by the COVID-19 crisis. This is mainly due very negative results for the past semester, but also the expectations from the second semester are subdue. As a consequence, the SME Climate Index falls by 18.8, reaching 54.6 points, which is the lowest level ever registered.

Helping small businesses trade internationally
The European Commission launched the Access2Markets online portal Tuesday, to help small and medium-sized firms trade beyond the EU’s borders and successfully navigate the world of international trade.

Green light for EU-wide rules on crowdfunding
The European Parliament gave the go-ahead Monday to a single set of rules for crowdfunding services in the EU up to EUR 5,000,000, including strict rules to protect investors from financial losses.

Joint Statement: Europe needs predictable and harmonised approaches to travel rules under COVID
In her State of the Union speech on 16 September, Commission President von der Leyen said:

Retail and Wholesale active and committed in combating food waste
Speaking today on the UN First International Day on Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said:

Digitalisation of European industry lagging: EU auditors
Europe's industry is not fully benefiting from advanced technologies to innovate and remain competitive, EU auditors said Tuesday, with some countries still lacking national digitalisation strategies.

EUIPO, EBAN agreement to empower SMEs
The EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and EBAN, the early-stage investors network, signed a collaboration agreement Monday to promote and encourage activities to support smaller 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.