Following the Commission’s presentation of the SME Relief Package, Renew Europe is pleased that this long overdue announcement is finally a reality and takes up some of our proposals for SMEs, namely the new Regulation on combatting late payments, especially by public authorities, the recognition of the role of the SME Envoy, the strict application of the SME Test and the initiatives related to tax simplification, outlined since last June in our position paper. However, adoption and implementation must take place before the EU elections.
MEP Martina Dlabajová (Czech Republic), chair of Renew Europe's SME Taskforce; co-chair of the SME Intergroup, and Renew Europe coordinator in the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) committee, stated:
“Renew Europe has tirelessly supported and listened to SMEs in various forums and formats over the past years to be able to legislate in line with their priorities and challenges. We welcome the Commission’s proposal on SMEs Relief Package as a positive first step, though it arrives late and could be more ambitious. It still falls short of delivering the much-needed relief for SMEs. We will only be satisfied if these proposals are approved prior to the European elections. SMEs are in desperate need of assistance to alleviate the growing cumulative burden of legislation, to cut red tape, to reduce reporting obligations, to support upskilling and reskilling of their staff and to get more opportunities for funding. We can no longer afford to abandon the main engine of employment, growth and social cohesion in Europe. Let´s deliver!”
SMEs account for more than 95 % of all businesses in the EU, so they are a key driver for growth, employment and competitiveness across the EU. Renew Europe is the only political group in the European Parliament that has made SMEs, their challenges and needs, a political priority and an incessant political commitment. Renew Europe´s SME Taskforce and the Renew Europe Business Days held a few months ago are good proof of this.
During today’s plenary debate, our political group called on the Council and the Parliament to act swiftly and diligently before the end of the European legislature in June 2024 to debate and adopt the SMEs Relief Package, the only legislative package of the entire EU mandate specifically focused on SMEs. It should cushion the impact of the unprecedented economic uncertainty and hardships faced by SMEs due to the effects of the Covid19 pandemic, the energy crisis, inflation rates and the efforts for a transition to a more sustainable and digitised business environment.