Developing Artificial Intelligence in European micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)

EESC opinion: Developing Artificial Intelligence in European micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)

Key points


  • points out; on the one hand, that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) will take up artificial intelligence (AI) to the extent that it is reliable, inclusive and sustainable, and if it forms part of an environmentally-friendly economic and social set-up, and, on the other hand, that respect for fundamental and social rights and stronger transparency requirements will foster trust and ownership of AI by all citizens and MSMEs;
  • underlines that the self-employed and MSMEs have a key role to play in the EU's digital and green transition, and they must therefore be given equal access to AI, as otherwise Europe will be deprived of its most valuable economic, social and human resources;
  • pointed out that despite their agility, MSMEs concerned about the digital transition face significant internal and external challenges: costs, lack of broadband infrastructure in certain territories, access to finance, human resources, information, training, etc;
  • calls for MSMEs to be provided, on one side, with simple tools and accessible funding to help them integrate this technology which, though expensive, is essential to maintain and even strengthen their competitiveness; and on the other side, with an access to data of sufficient quality and quantity, as well as full-scale trials;
  • considers that effective support for MSMEs in adopting AI requires strong political will at all levels, close cooperation with all stakeholders in organised civil society and high-quality social dialogue in the Member States, and that a tailored and targeted support for AI, as well as smart and inclusive legislation are key elements in ensuring legal certainty and trust;
  • recommends the rapid dissemination among all stakeholders, and business managers in particular, of the "toolbox" – an educational tool featuring in the EESC study on this subject and describing the different stages in the use of AI by MSMEs.

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