Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Joint Letter To Commissioner Bienkowska: Why SBA not in Work Programme?

Full Letter here


Dear Commissioner,

The results of the Commission consultation on the revision of the European Small Business Act (SBA) as well as the way forward were discussed at the meeting of the Network of SME Envoys in Paris on 20th March 2015.

The rich and convergent responses to this consultation demonstrate the very positive results generated by the implementation of the SBA over the last few years, and the scope for additional results that would come from strengthening the SBA. The SBA policy approach is the only one that considers, in an integrated way, all the aspects of SME creation, development and transfer.

In its 2015 Work Programme, which does not include the review of the SBA, the Commission seems to have opted for a more segmented approach to SME issues. The intention is apparently to address these mainly in the context of specific EU policies (Capital Market Union, Single Market and so forth).

While it certainly makes sense to pay due attention to SMEs in the design of specific EU policies, this cannot substitute the horizontal policy approach needed to unleash the full growth and job creation potential of SMEs which encompass a wide range of different types of enterprise.

At the meeting on 20th March, both the SME representative organisations and the national SME Envoys gave a strong signal that:

  • the Commission has a key role to play in pushing an SME action agenda built on common priorities and convergent initiatives to be implemented at EU, national, regional and local level;

  • delivering such an action agenda will require revising and strengthening the SBA.

It was striking to see that countries with a highly competitive economy and a successful SME policy were particularly vocal on the importance of a strengthened European SBA policy in making Europe more competitive.

Against this background, the undersigned Business Organisations strongly call on the Commission to propose an initiative in 2015 dealing with the revision and the strengthening of the SBA.

A similar letter has been sent to President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice-President Frans Timmermans. We thank you in advance for your consideration of this joint call.

Yours sincerely.