This week, the SME Assembly 2021 was held in Portoroz, Slovenia together with the Slovenian Presidency of the EU.
Reacting to the event, Pierre Gattaz, BusinessEurope President, said: “Considerable efforts by governments, businesses and citizens have enabled a strong recovery in Europe. However, the situation remains fragile and SMEs are very much exposed. We therefore need a strong, committed EU SME Envoy with an entrepreneurial mindset as a crucial interlocutor at the helm of the EU SME strategy. The business community needs this nomination urgently. This post should be filled without further delay.”
A BusinessEurope delegation, led by Fabrice Le Saché, chair of the “Entrepreneurship and SMEs” Committee, held a series of talks with policymakers in Portoroz.
In the work ahead, progress will be key on access to finance and to avoid increasing the cost of lending to SMEs. Here, the so-called SME Support Factor in the Basel III proposal must be preserved. Also, there is a growing concern about the cumulative effect of existing and incoming legislations. At EU level, the regulatory framework must be carefully designed to avoid excessive burden on businesses. This is true notably in the field of sustainability reporting, where EU legislations (e.g., Taxonomy Regulation, Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, Due Diligence, etc.) must take duly into account the specific needs and capacities of SMEs. In this regard, the European Commission must conduct more robust impact assessments of EU regulations on business. The work is sometimes too fast and not deep enough. Inputs by business should be taken into account on a more collaborative and operational way.