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SMEs in the EU

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

Standards on transparency and fairness for online platforms
The European Commission proposed on 26 April new rules for the online platforms providing small businesses with a safety net in the digital economy.

Online business platforms to be more transparent under new EU rules
New rules for online platforms, announced Thursday by the EU Commission, aim to create a fair, transparent and predictable business environment for their smaller business and trader users.

European SMEs welcome Commission's proposal on Platforms
Today, the European Commission published its proposal for a Regulation to tackle unfair practices from platforms towards businesses. UEAPME warmly welcomes this proposal as an important step forward in ensuring fairness in the Digital Single Market.

EU-Budget Post-2020 has to provide strong support to SMEs
Ahead of the European Commission's expected decision on its proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), UEAPME publishes the SME priorities as regards the European budget for the next 7 years. According to UEAPME, the next MFF has to aim for making Europe more competitive and a better place to live in instead of trying to protect old and inefficient structures.

New EU rules to help companies grow and merge in single market
EU companies should find it easier to merge, divide or move within the single market and to digitalise setting-up and running a business, under new company law rules outlined Wednesday by Brussels.

A stronger and more competitive European retail sector
The EU Commission published on 19 April a set of best practices to support Member States' efforts to create a more open, integrated and competitive retail sector.

Brussels bids to revive Europe's city centres
The EU Commission published a set of best practices for the retail sector Thursday in a bid to revive city centres and increase innovation and competitiveness in one of the EU economy's biggest sectors.

Stop overregulation blocking retailers delivering value for consumers
In an initial response to the Commission Communication: A European retail sector fit for the 21st century, published today, EuroCommerce Director General Christian Verschueren commented:

Posting of workers directive: balanced agreement, let's now focus on enforcement
The European Builders Confederation (EBC) welcomes yesterday’s approval of the compromise agreement on the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive by the Council.

"New Deal for Consumers": missed chance for SME-friendly law
Today, the European Commission published its package on the "New Deal for Consumers" – a targeted revision of the European consumer law. The revision follows the Fitness Check of consumer and marketing laws and the parallel evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive which had the aim to identify excessive regulatory burdens, overlaps and inconsistencies that may have appeared over time. UEAPME states that the result is a missed chance to simplify the consumer acquis and that too much emphasis is put on enforcement.

VentureEU: Pan-European Venture Capital Funds-of-Funds Programme
The European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) launched on 10 April a Pan-European Venture Capital Funds-of-Funds programme (VentureEU) to boost investment in innovative start-up and scale-up companies across Europe.

EUR 2.1 billion funding boost for European startups
The EU Commission and European Investment Fund launched a Venture Capital Funds-of-Funds programme Tuesday to boost investment in innovative start-up and scale-up companies.

Cheap euro transfers to be extended to non-euro states
The European Commission proposed Wednesday to make cross-border payments in euro cheaper across the entire EU, instead of only for transactions between Member States of the eurozone.

Cross-border payments
The European Commission proposed on 28 March to make cross-border payments in euro cheaper across the entire EU.

EU Summit Brexit future relations: damage limitation is top priority for EU27 businesses
Prior to tomorrow's EU Summit discussion among the EU27 Heads of State on future relations with the United Kingdom, EUROCHAMBRES has stressed the importance of paying greater attention in this next phase to mitigating the damage to EU27 businesses, particularly SMEs.

European businesses welcome Transition Period but need to know end state to prepare for Brexit
The Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE) welcomes the Transition Period announcement on 19 March 2018 but warns that lack of detail about the end state and continuing uncertainty poses an economic risk.

Economic and social progress cannot happen without SMEs
At the Tripartite Social Summit focussing on 'Delivering on the European Pillar of Social Rights' (EPSR), UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller put forward the fact that we need a strong economy and growth to achieve social progress.

Self-employed must have better access to social protection
Representing entrepreneurs and self-employed in Europe, and in response to the new Commission initiative as part of the Social Fairness Package, UEAPME advocates that all workers and self-employed have access to basic levels of social protection at an affordable cost.

Brussels to boost cross-border investment funds market
The EU Commission outlined another step towards the development of its Capital Markets Union Monday by promoting alternative sources of financing and removing barriers to cross-border investments.

SMEs say no to Commission approach for definitive VAT system
In a position paper, UEAPME presents quite a negative assessment of the European Commission's proposal for the first steps towards a Single EU VAT system.

New working conditions put too much red tape on SMEs
In its newly adopted position on the proposal for a directive on transparent and predictable working conditions, UEAPME expressed serious concerns about the red tape and complexity of the new directive. The aim of the directive is not only to inform workers of the conditions applicable to an employment relationship but also to ensure new rights (such as the predictability of work).

EU support to SMEs - interactive map
Hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs across Europe have benefited from the financing programmes of the European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) to start, grow and scale up their businesses. This map indicates the location of SMEs that have benefited from EU financial support through EIF-managed financial instruments.

Digitalisation is crucial for SMEs' competitiveness
"Entrepreneurs need an enabling legal framework and an environment with adequate support structures to guide their company through digital transformation. Therefore, UEAPME calls for increasing measures on skills development, financial support, capacity building, an appropriate infrastructure and standardisation" stated UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller during a meeting with Commissioner Bienkowska.

UEAPME puts focus on SMEs at Industry Day
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
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.