SME Circle started 2016 off on a confident note
“We can be proud of being the only political group in the European Parliament that has a framework for discussing policies that concern Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the European Union.”
With this remark, the Chairman of the ‘SME Circle’ in the EPP Group, MEP Markus Pieper, made it very clear, at their first gathering in 2016, that the 60 MEPs from the EPP Group represented in the SME Circle will provide important input to the EU policy agenda in 2016.
CONSIDERING SME NEEDS IN THE EU POLICY AGENDA FOR 2016
Among the important topics to be discussed are vocational training, emissions from vehicles, the digital economy and financing for SMEs, Markus Pieper pointed out.
EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska made it clear that the wellbeing of the SMEs is at the very top of her agenda.
“I often hear that SMEs are part of the economy. That’s an understatement. The SMEs are the economy,” the Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs said.
IMPROVING SME ACCESS TO FINANCE
The same point was made by Vice-President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. He also stressed the importance of industry and the goal of achieving a 20 percent share of industry for SMEs in the European economy. And he pointed to financing as one of the main challenges for SMEs.
“We need to put the banks at the service of SMEs and we need new ideas for access to finance,” he said.
Markus Pieper concluded on a confident note, making the point that 2016 will be an important year in many areas.
“We, in the SME Circle, know how the SME economy benefits from Europe. We will support the European idea with all our strength.”