SMEs in the spotlight. Finally

Text a foto Martina Dlabajová Publikováno

"SMEs are the backbone of the European economy." This is still very true, as SMEs represent 99% of companies in the EU and give work to two thirds of private sector employees. The same share applies to the Czech Republic, where SMEs employ over two million people. Many politicians have overused these figures in nice speeches, but with no real action resulting from it. Thankfully, times are changing.

From words to action

Politicians often talk about SMEs as the backbone of the EU economy. They are indeed the engine that drives the European economy, but sometimes it seems as if this engine was running on its own without any help or need to be repaired, greased or adjusted. Laws are often passed in the EP and national parliaments that apparently neglect SMEs, not taking into account what the new regulation will mean for them and how it will affect their operation. With a growing amount of red tape, SMEs are struggling with endless paperwork, worried about what else comes in their way from the officials.

EU politicians soon realised that something needs to be done about this – SMEs started to fight for their existence, as the covid-19 pandemic has put many of them into a difficult financial situation. Some of them even had to shut down their operations completely, and millions of jobs are still in question today due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, persistent inflation or high energy prices.

Pushing for EP debate on SMEs

A stable and predictable regulatory environment, as little bureaucracy as possible, easy access to financing, enough information presented in a clear manner and minimum obstacles for doing business in the European single market – these have always been my big priorities. In line with this, I have brought together a group of MEPs from various political parties and expert committees, to leverage the current situation when SMEs are in the spotlight of the EU institutions.

We constantly appeal to our colleagues to look at every draft law from the SME point of view. We explain to them that they must always ask themselves what benefits the new legislation will bring to these companies and in turn, what makes their business more difficult and complicated.

Moreover, we have successfully pushed for a debate at the plenary session of the European Parliament that focuses only on SMEs and their needs. This debate takes place live and is followed by journalists from all over the continent. Just like the regular State of the Union address that President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen regularly delivers to the European Parliament, the debate aims not only to sum up what has been accomplished over the past twelve months, but more importantly, it also points out all the setbacks and dead ends and proposes next steps. I believe this is the only way we can truly listen to the needs of SMEs and take appropriate action.

SMEs can now finally look forward to better times ahead with the EU institutions. Although it may still take some persistence, I will surely keep pushing.

Written by Martina Dlabajová

Photo credits: Martina Dlabajová

Celý článek si přečtěte v tištěné verzi TRADE NEWS 5 / 2022 na straně 75.

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