Having SME policy as a horizontal priority is an indispensable way to address numerous, cross-cutting challenges that they are currently facing. Current trends cause bigger challenges for SMEs than for bigger companies. Therefore, it is high time for policy makers to act upon it. This was discussed at the conference "Placing European SMEs at a horizontal priority in post-2020 policy making process". The conference took place on 24 October 2019 in Chania, Greece and was organised by the Employers' Group, Chania's Traders Association and the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship.
Nach Ansicht des EWSA kann das europäische verarbeitende Gewerbe nur dann wirksam und wettbewerbsfähig den Übergang zu einer modernen digitalen und umweltfreundlichen Wirtschaft schaffen, wenn umfangreiche Investitionen in die Innovation getätigt werden. Kleine und mittlere Unternehmen (KMU), die die meisten Arbeitsplätze schaffen und bieten, brauchen eine besondere Unterstützung. Die von der Europäischen Kommission geplanten Schritte für eine bessere Entwicklung des Produktionssystems sollten deshalb durchgehend auf den realen Bedürfnissen der Unternehmen, insbesondere der KMU, beruhen.
A fair, competitive and sustainable business environment that encourages enterprises to grow innovate, invest and trade – this is what representatives of the European employers ask from the next European Commission and Member States. The participants of the European Entrepreneurship Forum taking place in Bucharest agreed that it is time for a political recognition of SMEs – shifting from "think small first" approach to "act small first" principle.
A new VAT system for taxing trade between Member States must tap its full potential and limit any possible negative effects for the single market, says the European Economic and Social Committee in its recently adopted opinion on a proposal presented by the European Commission. Greater collaboration between national authorities and extensive communication by the Commission will be key to its successful implementation. Clarifications are needed on some proposed concepts and criteria and a common system for goods and services must follow as soon as possible.
The main SME instruments, in particular two programmes - COSME and the SME Instrument - were the main subject of the exchange of views between the category members and Mr Julien Guerrier, the Director of the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME).
Lack of awareness, underdeveloped infrastructure, high investment costs as well as skills shortages and mismatches – these are some of the challenges that SMEs are facing when trying to benefit from the digital revolution. The participants of the conference "How to support businesses in the digital age – SMEs go digital" tried to identify potential obstacles and propose solutions to address them in the future. The event took place on 24 October 2018 in Vienna, Austria.
Stakeholders stressed the importance of cohesion policy and the need for appropriate and effective funding
Der von der Europäischen Kommission vorgeschlagene Rahmen für Crowdfunding auf EU-Ebene wird dazu beitragen, eine Kapitalmarktunion aufzubauen, Innovation zu fördern und Unternehmer und KMU in der ganzen EU zu unterstützen, betont der Europäische Wirtschafts- und Sozialausschuss (EWSA) in einer neuen Stellungnahme, in der er die Vorschläge der Kommission nachdrücklich begrüßt. Der vorgeschlagene Rechtsrahmen – der als 29. Regelung neben den 28 nationalen Regelwerken existieren soll – wird insbesondere kleinen, jungen und innovativen Unternehmen in allen EU-Mitgliedstaaten den Zugang zu Finanzierungen erleichtern.
While the risk of cyber attacks is growing, most European companies are still unprepared and unaware of the risk. This was highlighted in a recent study commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee. Small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) are the most exposed, as they often cannot afford to invest adequately in cybersecurity. The level of investment in cybersecurity overall is insufficient. Most businesses do not realise its importance until after experiencing a security breach.
Brexit, the next EU budget and the future of the single market are the core interests of the European employers' organisations. On 14 March 2018, representatives of BusinessEurope, EuroChambres and CEEP presented the priorities of their organisations for 2018 and discussed the issues with the members of the employers' group.