Next Generation SME Strategy – Enhancing Effective and Swift Delivery

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Stellungnahme des Ausschusses: Next Generation SME Strategy – Enhancing Effective and Swift Delivery

Key points

The EESC:

  • urges the EU and the Member States to provide SMEs with a favourable business environment and proper funding and support measures, in order to enable them not only to survive, but also to thrive, grow and expand successfully, driving the EU economy forward, and creating quality jobs and well-being for the citizens;
  • highlights the importance of a fit for the future policy and regulatory framework, that provide SMEs with certainty, consistency, clarity, and a level playing field, respecting the principles of better regulation and competitiveness checks when introducing new or revising existing policy measures, while maintaining high level of standard of environmental and social protection;
  • calls for streamlined administrative procedures so as to avoid focusing resources on activities that hamper efforts to develop business;
  • reiterates its proposal to create and develop a network of "financial and funding ombudsmen", who would monitor implementation of the measures geared towards improving the short-term liquidity of SMEs;
  • suggests that the EC and Member States draw up and implement swiftly a one-sheet-application process for SMEs, to ease and accelerate their access to EU funds;
  • sees enabling the fluid operation of both internal and international markets as an important short-term policy measure and calls on the Member States to make a special effort to provide opportunities for SMEs to bid for and win public contracts, and speed up public investments in general so as to increase the companies' turnover, together with effective application of the Late Payments Directive;
  • welcomes the EC's proposal to extend the State aid Temporary Framework to June 2022, providing a bridge to market-based post-COVID-19 conditions;
  • stresses that enhancing competences and skills, including digital and green skills, is key for SMEs, and underlines the important role played by Social dialogue in skills development and the need to promote and exchange good VET practices;
  • stresses that micro and small enterprises, family and traditional businesses and social economy enterprises need practical grassroots-level support, specific campaigns, tools and advice;
  • emphasises the need for a more in-depth work to assess the chances and challenges that SMEs, especially the most vulnerable ones with least resources, face due to the green transition, and to support their success in this endeavour;
  • underlines the pivotal role of the SME Envoy network, EEN and SME organisations to publicise and spread information on all support measures to the widest possible audience of SMEs and calls for them to develop their structures and working methods so as to better meet these needs;
  • suggests that relations between SME organisations at EU and national level and the SME Envoy network should be further strengthened, with a view of achieving a more interactive model, where there is a constant, direct link and consistent, close and comprehensive connection with SMEs and their representative organisations and a better understanding and recognition of the role of the SME Envoy;
  • looks forward to soon seeing the appointment of an EU SME Envoy to really lead this process.

For more information please contact the INT Section Secretariat.