EU legislation must be SME-friendly

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the European economy. SMEs produce 58% of European Union GDP and account for 67% of all jobs in the private sector. They drive innovation, adapt easily to market forces, wield a powerful economic impact across business sectors, generate employment and provide a qualified young workforce. Direct responsibility for running these enterprises frequently lies with strong family-centred entrepreneurial figures, making them a mainstay of economic growth. With above-average equity capital and a wide spread of investment risks, small and medium-sized enterprises stand firm in the face of global financial crises.

We believe that EU legislation should be assessed for its impact on SMEs. The ‘one size fits all’ is not always the most appropriate approach. EU rules should not result in a disproportionate burden and bureaucratic restrictions on smaller enterprises, making it impossible for them to thrive.

Funding SMEs and the innovation revolution

In parallel, SMEs should have better access to funding. Right now, it is still the main obstacle to their growth. To overcome this difficulty, we have driven instruments such as COSME. We also defend the release of unused capital to complement the funding opportunities provided by EU research programmes and promote alternative forms of financing, including venture capital.

Start-ups are always SMEs at their origin. If Europe wants them to play a vital role in the innovation revolution, we need a regulatory environment that allows them to thrive and scale their business across borders.