14 Nov, 2023

Renew Europe calls for ambitious SME empowering package

From 13-15 November, Renew Europe participated in the European SME Assembly in Bilbao, Spain, calling for an ambitious SME Empowering Package that complements existing programmes exclusively dedicated to SMEs.

Represented by a delegation of five MEPs led by Martina Dlabajová MEP (ANO 2011, CZ), Renew Europe is the only European Parliament political group at the annual event for a second consecutive year.

Ahead of the 2024 European elections, the Group also called for a much-needed SME Relief Package, announced by Commissioner Thierry Breton on 12 September.

Over the course of the three days, Renew Europe members meet with European SMEs, entrepreneurs and stakeholders to learn about their challenges and needs, and offer views and solutions to become more sustainable, digital and resilient in the current uncertain geopolitical context.

“SMEs in Europe are an essential landmark for European industry and economy. We are here to listen, to accompany, to understand and to be able to legislate according to their priorities and difficulties, especially in the current period of polycrisis marked by health, climate, digital, energy and geopolitical conflicts,” said Dlabajová.

“As chair of Renew Europe's SME Taskforce, I will propose to the entire European liberal political family to create a permanent body exclusively dedicated to SMEs. We need to protect all that we have been advocating so far, to echo SME’s needs and to accompany them with legislative proposals of high added value, now and after the EU elections. The SMEs’ survival and growth is Europe’s survival and prosperity.”

Renew Europe’s proposals on tax simplification, combatting late payments and the application of the SME Test were taken on board by the European Commission in the so-called SME Relief Package.

However, the Group suggests a new SME Empowering Package for a truly thriving environment for European SMEs (99% of all EU enterprises), a key driver for ensuring growth, employment, competitiveness and social cohesion in Europe.

The proposals include an SME Sovereignty Fund, new rules on e-invoicing, an export credit strategy, a Europe-wide business transfer barometer and more widespread use of transition periods for new pieces of legislation.

“The challenges posed by late payments to SMEs, and particularly to micro-companies, are multifaceted and significantly harm their ability to operate at full capacity. Erratic cash flows can render them financially vulnerable and restrict their ability to grow, affecting their competitiveness, resilience, and ability to innovate,” said Róża Thun MEP (Polska 2050, PL), European Parliament rapporteur on the Late Payments Regulation.

“The Commission has proposed a 30-day payment term for all commercial transactions, a key measure that Renew Europe will assess to make sure it benefits not only the small companies, but also the European economy as a whole. We will take all necessary actions to instil a culture of prompt payments, thus ensuring financial stability for SMEs, which translates into more opportunities for everyone on an economic and social dimension.”

Photo: Róża Thun

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