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SMEs in the EU

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

SMEs cast doubts on the consequences of 'SMIT'
UEAPME is critical of the proposal for a Regulation on a Single Market Information Tool as it is unclear what the consequences will be for SMEs and there is a lack of crucial safeguards. Therefore, UEAPME asks for more detail on what is meant by "measures of last resort" and insists that the procedure remain voluntary for the enterprises. Furthermore, SMEs should be clearly exempt from the scope of the Regulation.

Retailers and wholesalers call for small companies to get a chance to build the European economy
SMEs make up the bulk of companies in Europe. Over 90% companies in retail and wholesale; are microbusinesses. The same applies to the hospitality industry.

Future of Europe: SMEs want Scenario for Growth, Jobs and Stability
At the Tripartite Social Summit on shaping Europe’s future, and following the commitment to contribute to the debate, President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller put forward UEAPME priorities for the Future of Europe.

SME Climate Index attains a pre-crisis level with 80.2 points
At the Tripartite Social Summit, UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller presented the latest SME Barometer to the leaders of the European Institutions.

EU guidelines on food donation helpful to reducing food waste
The European Commission adopted yesterday on the World Food Day, EU guidelines on food donation. Retailers and wholesalers welcome these guidelines as supporting efforts to recover and redistribute food to those in need, thereby helping to prevent food waste and fight food poverty in the EU. Retailers and wholesalers work hard to prevent food waste from happening in the first place, but if there is a need for food surplus redistribution, food donation needs to happen and made easier.

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive: Remaining flaws could be detrimental to construction SMEs
Today's ITRE Committee vote on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is a step in the right direction, but the European Builders Confederation (EBC) expresses concerns about the impact of some articles of the report.

EU green light for new rules to resolve tax disputes
EU finance ministers gave their green light Tuesday to a new system for resolving resolve tax disputes between Member States, including over double taxation, seen as a major obstacle for businesses.

EU boost for long-term apprenticeships in Europe
The EU Commission adopted Thursday a proposal for a European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships, with a view to increasing the employability and personal development of apprentices.

SMEs welcome EU Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships
UEAPME welcomes today's Commission proposal of a European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships. Crafts and SMEs, as main providers of apprenticeship in Europe, support the proposal, which includes many of their requests with regard to the support that is needed, the demand-led approach, the time to be spent in the company, and their involvement in the governance of apprenticeship systems.

Public Procurement Package: Construction SMEs need a better implementation of the Directive
The European Builders Confederation (EBC) welcomes the new Commission’s package on Public Procurement that will give further guidance for a better implementation of Directive 2014/24/EU which is still within transposition into national law in most Member States. However, EBC is worried that the current implementation of Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement might exclude many SMEs from public tenders, because of the misuse of green and social criteria to evaluate offers in some Member States.

EU VAT reform to crack down on fraud
The EU Commission set out plans Wednesday for the biggest reform of EU VAT rules in a quarter of a century, hoping to crack down on an estimated EUR 50 billion in tax revenue lost to cross-border VAT fraud.

EU looks to make procurement more efficient and sustainable
As part of EU efforts to stimulate the economy and unlock investment, the European Commission put forward Tuesday an initiative for more efficient and sustainable procurement, exploiting digital technologies.

Public procurement initiative
To strengthen the Single Market and as part of the continuous effort to stimulate investment in the EU, the European Commission has put forward an initiative to carry out procurement more efficiently and in a sustainable manner, while making full use of digital technologies to simplify and accelerate procedures.

EU public procurement legislation
From 18 April 2016, new rules have changed the way EU countries and public authorities spend a large part of the €1.9 trillion paid for public procurement every year in Europe. This date was the transposition deadline for three directives on public procurement and concessions adopted two years ago. In other words, it was the date by which EU countries must have put in place national legislation conforming to the directives.

EUR 152 bn VAT gap points way to EU reform
The EU Commission published a report Thursday showing that EU Member States lost an estimated total of EUR 152 billion in VAT revenues in 2015, as it readies for an overhaul of the VAT system.

Innovation focus for EU's new industrial strategy
A 'smart, innovative and sustainable industry' is the goal of the EU's new industrial strategy, launched by the European Commission Monday in the wake of last week's 'state of the Union' address.

British SMEs face uncertain funding future
SMEs in Britain are increasingly concerned over their ability to gain funding in the run up to Brexit, a recent survey has revealed. The study, commissioned by specialist insurer Hiscox, has found that recent economic and political uncertainty has adversely affected business confidence, and caused concern for the future as Britain’s withdrawal from the EU becomes nearer. This should come as no surprise, as 38 percent of the 500 businesses surveyed admitted to accessing EU funding.

SMEs ask for an alternative scenario for the Future of Europe
Ahead of Jean-Claude Juncker's speech in the European Parliament on the State of the European Union, UEAPME President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller addressed the Commission President to share her considerations on the future of Europe.

SMEs call for a different approach on work-life balance
Today, at the informal Ministers' Meeting for Labour and Social affairs in Tallinn, Secretary General Véronique Willems explains why UEAPME rejects the proposal on work-life balance.

New EU insolvency rules enter in force
New rules on cross-border insolvency proceedings, first proposed in 2012 and adopted by EU legislators in 2015 to facilitate debt recovery, entered into force throughout the European Union on Monday.

Find a company
The 'Find a company' section of the European e-Justice Portal allows you to search for and access company information from the national business registers. In accordance with Directive 2012/17/EU this service is to cover the business registers of all EU countries as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. Not all of the Member States are currently connected, but more will be on board soon. If you are looking to access information and/or documents from those registers which are not yet part of the 'Find a company' page, you can find links to the respective national registers on our "General information and terms and conditions" page.

Commission Mulls Revision of SME Definition
On 8 June 2017, the European Commission published an inception impact assessment regarding a potential revision of the EU SME definition.

New agreement on EU venture capital rules to boost investment in start-ups and innovation
Yesterday evening, the EU institutions reached an agreement on a review of the EU venture capital rules, to boost investment in start-ups and innovation. This review is part of the Capital Markets Union action plan.

EU venture capital boost to help smaller firms
Better access to finance for small and growing companies and social enterprises will be the result of EU rules agreed Tuesday by the European Parliament, the Council and the EU Commission.

Tenderio gives SMEs access to billions in public funding
Following a €250,000 EU investment, a sophisticated tender platform called Tenderio will deliver huge opportunities for European SMEs, opening up the chance for them to bid for millions of Euros worth of public funding.