The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) recommends that Digital Innovation Hubs be reinforced to boost the EU’s innovation capacity as part of the transition to a sustainable future. DIHs provide valuable infrastructure for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that might otherwise struggle to become greener and more digital.
In an own-initiative opinion, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) recommends promoting the use of hybrid debt to fund SMEs. This would diversify funding sources and reduce reliance on bank loans, while encouraging investment and supporting the Capital Markets Union.
Échanger les bonnes pratiques, garantir un financement suffisant et réduire au minimum les formalités administratives: des solutions nécessaires pour revitaliser et moderniser les petits détaillants, qui ont été débattues lors de la réunion de la catégorie «PME, artisanat et entreprises familiales» du CESE. Le 26 février dernier, des associations professionnelles et une représentante de la direction générale du marché intérieur, de l’industrie, de l’entrepreneuriat et des PME de la Commission européenne se sont entretenues avec des membres de ladite catégorie. L’objectif de la discussion était d’examiner les résultats de l’étude sur «L’avenir de la vente au détail dans les centres-villes», ainsi que les priorités des PME européennes de vente au détail.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires more than political commitment, says the European Economic and Social Committee. Increased investment, especially by the private sector, is needed to address current economic, social and environmental challenges. The Committee therefore advises the EU and its Member States to adjust their investment and tax policies to enhance growth prospects, and thereby private sector contributions, to accomplishing the SDGs.
The benefits of digitalisation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are multiple, allowing them to boost competitiveness, expand market access and improve customer relations. In an information report adopted at its December plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) considers it necessary to support the digital transformation of SMEs with measures adapted to the specific needs of different types of companies.
Dr Angelika Winzig, Member of the European Parliament, joined the EESC's SMEs, Crafts and Family Business Category meeting on 13 November to discuss current priorities and challenges for Europe's SMEs and their competitiveness on a global scale.
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.
According to the EESC, the European manufacturing system can only make an effective and competitive transition to a cutting-edge digital and environmentally friendly economy when it is ready for significant investments in innovation. As the main job creators and providers, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) need particular support. The steps planned by the European Commission to facilitate better development of the manufacturing system should therefore be consistently based on real awareness of companies' – especially SMEs' – needs.
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.