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.
The role of trade as a generator of growth and jobs is undeniable, but public perception of the further liberalisation of trade is getting worse and citizens' concerns must be addressed far more effectively than before. This was one of the conclusions of the conference on "Strengthening European Growth and Competitiveness: Proactive Trade Agenda – NOW!" that took place in Helsinki on 26 October.
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 role of trade as a generator of growth and jobs is undeniable, but public perception of the further liberalisation of trade is getting worse and citizens' concerns must be addressed far more effectively than before. This was one of the conclusions of the conference on "Strengthening European Growth and Competitiveness: Proactive Trade Agenda – NOW!" that took place in Helsinki on 26 October. Jacek Krawczyk, President of the EESC Employers' Group, added:
It is our responsibility to advocate for trade; we cannot take it for granted that people understand what the benefits ...
The event focused on analyzing the information barriers that SMEs face when searching for funds, especially in the case of bank loans, on possible solutions and on support and advisory structures.
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.
EU employers’ organisations call for an overhaul of the Small Business Act (SBA) to better accommodate the needs of Europe’s more than 21 million SMEs, which have created 85 % of new jobs in the past five years.
El marco de financiación participativa de la UE propuesto por la Comisión Europea contribuirá a crear una Unión de los Mercados de Capitales, fomentará la innovación y apoyará a los empresarios y pymes en toda la UE, afirma el Comité Económico y Social Europeo (CESE) en un dictamen aprobado recientemente que apoya de manera clara las propuestas de la Comisión. El marco reglamentario propuesto —un 29.º régimen, que coexistirá con los veintiocho regímenes nacionales— permitirá, en particular a las pequeñas empresas, jóvenes e innovadoras, buscar financiación en todos los Estados miembros de la UE.
On 30 March 2017, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion on the European Commission's proposed directive on business insolvency, which is intended to harmonise preventive restructuring procedures across Europe. While fully supporting the Commission's shift from liquidation to early restructuring in dealing with business insolvency, the EESC proposes a set of measures to help prevent its social damages.
Nothing can escape today's digital revolution. The "internet of things", 3D printing, artificial intelligence, big data, online platforms and the sharing economy are bringing new businesses into the digital arena and create new opportunities for innovative SMEs and start-ups. The digital revolution is bringing about changes in modes of production and patterns of consumption, how we understand the world, and even how we live together as a society.