SMEs, Start-ups and Entrepreneurs - a major Renew Europe Priority
SMEs might be small in size, but they are big in impact. They are a vital source of creativity and have a real entrepreneurial desire for innovation. They are responsible for creating the vast majority of new jobs and are the real engine of our economy’s growth. They have proved it many times. Just remember how they turned challenges posed by the pandemic into opportunities and showed their ability to adapt, find solutions and take risks.
I, myself, was an entrepreneur for twenty years. Based on my experience in running a number of small companies in several European countries, I have developed a firm stance on a fully functioning EU single market. In the field, I learned what makes it more difficult for companies to grow and expand their activities across Europe. This has led me to enter politics where my main goal is to promote a SME-friendly business environment with clear rules, a predictable regulatory framework and reduced bureaucracy.
I am proud to be the Chair of the permanent SME Taskforce established by the Renew Europe Group. Our political family has the promotion and support of a business-friendly policy at its heart. Our Taskforce brings together members from various countries with experience in all policy sectors that are relevant for SMEs.
We combine talent, skills and expertise to optimise European legislation for SMEs. Therefore, they can develop their business in fair competition with larger players in the field. Our goal is to enable Europe’s SMEs to unleash their full potential.
Our motto is simple: „Always think small first“- because no company was born big.
Renew Europe SME Taskforce Chair
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SMEs: Small in Size, Big in Impact!
European SMEs are the key for European recovery
The recent crises have hit all parts of the world, but Europe does not need to look outside for advice. Europe has shown that its diversity is also its strength. Thanks to the creativity and innovation of our entrepreneurs, we are bouncing back from the biggest crises we have experienced since the Second World War.
We must learn from those SMEs that have proved resilience and supported others that struggled. Over and over again SMEs show how vital they are for our economy. For us it is clear, our start-ups, entrepreneurs and SMEs must be at the heart of the EU’s recovery.
Our 24 million SMEs represent 99 percent of all companies in the EU. They employ more than 100 million Europeans and are the most important force for creativity, innovation and job creation.
To make sure that European legislation helps growth, Renew Europe always applies the “think small first” and “better regulation” principles. For every piece of legislation, we assess what the impact will be for the growth potential of SMEs.
We will always fight for the reduction of red tape, better access to finance and a predictable SME-friendly legislative environment.
Renew Europe works for SMEs
The Renew Europe SME Taskforce includes 23 MEPs from all over Europe who bundle their experience, knowledge and skills to always look at new European legislation from an SME-perspective. Its Members also promote SMEs in the day-to-day policy work at the EU level. Their goal is to create a European legislative environment in which SMEs can thrive.
Our main goals:
- Fighting for a well-functioning internal market with strong SMEs
- Placing a strong focus on national recovery plans supporting SMEs, while urging the Member States to facilitate private investments in connection to the projects funded by the European recovery plan, by lifting all unnecessary obstacles that would prevent SMEs and entrepreneurs from accessing the relevant funding
- Accelerating the digitalisation of public services, to relieve SMEs from unnecessary long and complicated procedures, in particular by implementing the “once only principle”
- Ensuring a genuinely SME-friendly legislative environment, in which they can harness the opportunities of innovation, digitalisation and internationalisation
- Promoting the SME window in the InvestEU programme that should serve as the main tool in the EU’s arsenal to directly finance SMEs
- Deepening the Capital Markets Union as a unique opportunity to increase investments in SMEs
- Ensuring a reduction of red tape for EU level measures via the implementation of the “one-in one-out” principle for bureaucratic burdens
- Facilitating access to public and private finance and encouraging a diversification of funding sources
- Supporting the digitalisation of SMEs including in terms of digital finance and financial literacy
- Easing the green transition of SMEs, whose role is fundamental to reach the EU target of climate neutrality in 2050, via the Sustainability Advisors provided by the European Commission’s European Enterprises Network
Our commitment to SMEs
- We want to be the main ally of SMEs in Europe
- We want to create a Europe
- Open for business
- We are here to help and make the work of SMEs easier
More European financial support
Renew Europe was instrumental in ensuring that the InvestEU fund benefits SMEs all over the EU, allowing them to diversify their source of financing. The Group focused on new and innovative projects, especially those of a cross-border nature, which bring added value to the Union. We secured at least 2 % of the budget envelope for the Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries, hit so hard by the pandemic.
Better access to funding
Renew Europe has decisively contributed to the adoption of the capital markets recovery package, which comprised four legislative actions aimed at supporting European businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The package facilitated access to funding for SMEs while also ensuring an adequate level of investor protection.
Help the transition to a sustainable economy
The creation of the Just Transition Fund was one of Renew Europe’s priorities defined at the beginning of the mandate. The Fund will ensure a fair transition for the citizens and workers living in the regions most dependent on fossil fuel; making it possible to diversify industry, reskill workers and invest in SMEs.
This Fund will support a wide range of activities, which will allow the regions most affected by the transition to mitigate the energy, social and economic impact such as through investment in SMEs and microenterprises, smart and sustainable local mobility, and activities related to education and social inclusion.
Ease the tax burden for SMEs
The European Parliament has consistently highlighted the importance of fair taxation at both the European and global level. Renew Europe welcomes the agreement reached in July at the OECD/G20 level on the establishment of a new framework for an international tax reform. We want this agreement implemented quickly. Renew Europe strongly supported the creation of a permanent European Parliament Subcommittee in charge of tax-related matters.
Eliminate barriers in the single market
Liberalising the single market for services: In January 2021, the European Parliament, under the rapporteurship of Renew Europe, adopted a resolution seeking to further liberalise the single market for services. This was a major success for our group, following the failure of similar attempts to address barriers in the Single Market during the previous parliamentary term. We want to create opportunities for businesses and new jobs.
SMEs as energy savers
SMEs are central to an effective reduction in energy use. We strongly advocate for a creation of targeted levies on windfall profits of fossil fuel producers, thus redirecting them to consumers and business and helping SMEs to invest in climate-proof equipment and upskilling. Moreover, we call on the Member States to step up measures to provide aid and access to capital to SMEs via flexibilities provided by the EU guidelines on state aid. The Commission and national governments must facilitate the transition of SMEs towards efficient and smart energy use and ensure they have the right conditions to grow by accelerating their digitalisation and decarbonisation efforts.
Help SMEs to thrive within the updated EU Industrial Strategy
Renew Europe revised the EU’s industrial strategy to enhance the twin green and digital transitions: The European Commission’s industrial strategy has identified various issues that have been posing structural challenges for European industry and SMEs. Renew Europe ensured that the European Parliament supported the concept of strategic autonomy alongside an open economy.
Renew Europe is working hard to ensure that SMEs are fully included in the twin processes of the green and digital transitions: in particular, through maintaining and developing successful business ecosystems, and ensuring that the Important Projects of Common European Interest are open to SMEs’ effective participation.
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.
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”.
OUR COMMITMENT TO EUROPE’S SMES
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
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
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!
The Renew Europe SME Taskforce members
The Renew Europe SME Taskforce includes 23 MEPs from all over Europe who bundle their experience, knowledge and skills to always look at new European legislation from an SME-perspective. Its Members promote SMEs in the day-to-day policy work at the EU level. Our MEPs work for the well-being of SMEs and entrepreneurs all over Europe, for the reduction of red tape, better access to finance and their transition towards a green and digital economy.
Their goal is to create a European legislative environment in which SMEs can thrive.