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Voice of the interests of small business in the EU

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Regional Policy Dialogue Meeting “SMEs in a Green Economy”, 09 March 2018, Paris
Session 1, Guido Lena - Director for Sustainable Development, UEAPME

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Voice of the interests of small business in the EU

  1. 1. Voice of the interests of smallVoice of the interests of small business in the EUbusiness in the EU SMEs challenges in making green transitionSMEs challenges in making green transition Guido Lena - Director for Sustainable DevelopmentGuido Lena - Director for Sustainable Development UEAPMEUEAPME 09/03/2018 – SMEs in a green economy09/03/2018 – SMEs in a green economy OECD – ParisOECD – Paris
  2. 2. UEAPME  Employers’ organisation representing the interests at European level of Crafts, trades and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.  67 member organisations (national cross-sectoral associations and European trade federations).  Represents 12 million enterprises in EU which employ nearly 55 million people.  Recognised European Social Partner.
  3. 3. SMEs in Europe  European definition ≤ 250 employees  EU :21,7 mio enterprises – 99.8% SME  2/3 of all employment, close to 60% of added value  50% one-person company  Average: 5 empl  90% = micro-enterprises < 10 empl
  4. 4.  The green transition is a systemic change impossible to achieve without the full involvement of SMEs considering their role in EU’s economy  This transition is not a quick process happening overnight  The transition should take place in a way that most SMEs manage to stay on the market, thus avoiding loss of growth and employment in the EU Starting points
  5. 5. Main challenges for SMEs I - Framework  Insufficient SME-friendly favourable political and legislative framework to foster this transition at EU and national level
  6. 6. Main challenges for SMEs II – Company level  Lack of information  Lack of experience/know-how  Need of finances for upfront investments  Lack of green skills  Lack of incentives  Inadequate support from public authorities and business organisations, particularly in some Member States
  7. 7. Main challenges for SMEs III – Third parties  Lack of consistent, permanent demand for green products  Lack of suitable relations in the value chain
  8. 8.  Need for a thorough and consistent policy and legislative framework at EU and national level facilitating the transition for SMEs, based on:  First of all the SBA principles and, particularly, the “Think Small First” approach  The elements presented below Solutions I – Framework
  9. 9. Solution II – Company level  Awareness-raising activities/campaigns at EU and national level  Technical assistance at local level at reasonable costs  Easier access to different forms of financing  Green upskilling for employees and entrepreneurs  (Fiscal) incentives when SMEs employ somebody with a sustainability background  Different forms of capacity building for SME organisations
  10. 10. Solutions III – Third parties 1  Stimulate the demand for green products with awareness- raising for consumers and other concrete measures = green products should cost less: no/reduced VAT?  Deeper cooperation along supply chains so that SMEs get the suitable materials to produce more green products. It would be useful to 1) increase the availability and the quality level of by-products/recycled products 2) give a common interpretation at EU level of the end-of-waste definition
  11. 11. Solutions III – Third parties 2  Carry out the necessary investments in innovation and digitalisation so that they are widespread in the society, since digitalisation is one key element to reduce the excessive manufacturing of physical products typical of the linear economy and to switch to more services and/or services which also involve products and are related to them (such as car sharing, leasing of white goods, etc.)
  12. 12. Doubtful measures for traditional SMEs  Green public procurement  Extended producer responsibility  Extension of Eco-design to circularity aspects (reusability, recyclability, reparability)
  13. 13. Contact Guido LENA Director for Sustainable Development Tel. +32 2 230 75 99 g.lena@ueapme.com UEAPME Rue Jacques de Lalaingstraat 4 B - 1040 Brussels Tel. +32 2 230 75 99 | Fax +32 2 23 07 861 EU Transparency Register: identification number 55820581197-35 www.ueapme.com

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