The Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), the Professions and Crafts category is currently composed of 42 Committee members, 13 of them belonging to the Various Interests' Group, and 29 to the Employers' Group. Its objective is to discuss all Community legislation or general evolutions that concern the two socio-economic sectors in depth, and to feed the EESC with proposals that allow it to organise its future actions better.
The category’s component interests are particularly important to the European economy and society. Thus, SMEs are recognised as the ‘backbone’ of Europe’s economy, being key generators of growth and jobs and driving forces for innovation.
At the same time, their small size makes them more vulnerable than larger businesses to excessive, unnecessary or over-complex legislation, and the category therefore works to ensure that policy-makers are aware of the need to take account of the specific situation of SMEs. The professions are of similar economic and social importance, including more than six million highly-qualified individuals and creating employment for over 14 million people in the EU.
The professions are constantly adapting to an increasingly competitive market, while maintaining their commitment to lifelong training and the codes of conduct designed to protect and guarantee the rights of the citizen in a democratic state.
The category has appointed Greek member Panagiotis Gkofas as spokesperson for the SMEs and Crafts, and German member Arno Metzler as spokesperson for the Liberal Professions.
The secretariat of the category is provided by the Various Interests' Group.