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SMEs in the EU

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

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.

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.