In the summer of 2020, we published a policy paper, Our Commitment Towards European SMEs (Renew Europe outlines its priorities to protect SMEs in a post pandemic landscape), in which we outlined key SME related actions to be taken at European level, and - crucially - put forward an overall commitment to always look at EU initiatives and legislation through an “SME lens”.
SMEs are a very important part of Europe : there are some 24 million of them, together representing around 99% of all companies in the EU. This is important, as SMEs employ 100 million Europeans and they are a vital source of creativity, innovation & job creation. It is important, as the EU Single Market is critical for our small businesses and innovators. We need to seek ways to help SMEs find opportunities across Europe and beyond, while always keeping the ‘think small first’ and better regulation principles in mind in our policy work. Our goal is a predictable, SME friendly legislative environment.
The Renew Europe SME Taskforce
Europe’s SMEs are hugely diverse and a one-size-fits-all approach will not do. The range of issues we need to tackle also varies enormously. This is why we established a permanent SME Taskforce within our Group. The SME Taskforce includes MEPs from all Parliament committees and they represent several Member States. Their promise: to always consider Commission proposals, legislation and other EU actions through the “SME lens” as well as prioritizing & promoting SMEs in policy work.
Keeping in mind that SME responsibilities are an important part of the portfolios of both Commission Executive Vice-President Margarethe Vestager and Commissioner Thierry Breton, it is safe to say that Renew Europe is the political family that will deliver for Europe’s start-ups, entrepreneurs, innovators and SMEs.
The State of the SMEs Union
If we are to place SMEs even more visibly at the center of the EU’s plans and policies, it is important that progress is reviewed and monitored on an on-going basis. This is why (in our policy paper) we came up with the idea of having an annual debate in the Parliament’s Plenary sitting: the State of the SMEs Union. We put the wheels in motion fast, and the first Plenary debate took place in the July 2022 Plenary already.
We intend to improve this event further in years ahead, making sure that future debates will be accompanied by better and more timely data, using for example the Commission’s SME Strategy Implementation and the SME Performance Review reports as well as better regulation tools & indicators as a basis.
Should you have good ideas or suggestions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of our SME Taskforce members!