Strengthening MSMEs’ financial resilience and promoting second chance for entrepreneurs

EESC opinion: Strengthening MSMEs’ financial resilience and promoting second chance for entrepreneurs

Key points:

The EESC:

  • expresses serious concern over the low MSME investment rates and the weakened ability of MSMEs to finance innovation and the green and digital transitions;
  • believes that sufficient funds via the InvestEU SME window need to be ensured. Also, more EU regional funds should be directed to MSME activities. To ease MSMEs' access to EU funds, the EESC has previously suggested introducing a single-page application process for SMEs;
  • welcomes the planned revision of the Late Payments Directive and encourages the EU legislators to ensure a speedy adoption;
  • is of the opinion that the EU must encourage the development and take-up of digital tools based on data analytics, AI and machine learning to enhance the early detection of MSMEs' financial distress;
  • EESC emphasises the importance of effectively monitoring the implementation of the recent Directive on restructuring and insolvency;
  • asks the Commission to conduct a thorough assessment of the existing barriers to second chances that European entrepreneurs encounter following a business failure;
  • supports the European Commission's plan to reduce SMEs' reporting obligations by 25% and suggests setting more ambitious targets going forward, with regular monitoring and evaluation;
  • raises concerns about the additional compliance costs arising from national "gold-plating" practices, which not only burden MSMEs but also create unfair competition within the Single Market;
  • calls for support for MSMEs' internationalisation and access to foreign markets to enable them to diversify their supply, ensure higher liquidity and participate in global trade;
  • believes that business transfers play a crucial role in ensuring business continuity and resilience and calls for EU action to facilitate business transfers in Europe.

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