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Small Business Act for Europe


UEAPME warmly welcomed the announcement made by the European Commission in October 2007 to examine a range of initiatives to back SMEs, in the form of a Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) in 2008. It is an important step in the continuous engagement of this Commission towards SMEs.

The founding principle of the Small Business Act, which remains a non-binding communication, is the "Think Small First" principle. UEAPME believes that this principle should be put in practice both at EU and national level.

What are governments doing?

Member States committed to implement the SBA by adopting the Competitiveness Council Conclusions of 1 December 2008. The SBA Action Plan, annexed to the Competitiveness Council Conclusions, focuses on short and medium-term measures to improve SMEs’ access to finance, to improve the regulatory environment and to enhance market access for SMEs. These priority measures are an integral part of the Commission’s response to alleviate the negative impact of economic and financial crisis on enterprises, especially SMEs. The European Council on 11-12 December 2008 supported the full implementation of the Action Plan for the SBA adopted by the Competitiveness Council on 1 December 2008.

UEAPME position papers

-  April 2015: Joint letter to President Juncker on the Small Business Act

- January 2015: UEAPME Position on Small Business Act: A strong European policy to support Small and Medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs 2015-2020

-  September 2013: UEAPME Position on Discussion Paper “Ideas for a new policy following the 5-year anniversary of the SBA”

- December 2010, UEAPME, Businesseurope, Eurochambres: Small Business Act: Ten business recommendations to make it work

-  July 2010: UEAPME position on the review of the “Small Business Act for Europe”

-  September 2008: Small Business Act for Europe: UEAPME proposal for a specific Inter-Institutional Agreement

-  July 2008: Informal Competitiveness Council: speaking notes of Secretary General Andrea Benassi on the Small Business Act

-  March 2008: UEAPME response to the European Commission’s questionnaire on the Small Business Act for Europe

-  December 2007: UEAPME expectations on the proposal for a European Small Business Act

-  December 2007: Les attentes de l’UEAPME par rapport à la proposition du « Small Business Act » européen

UEAPME press releases

-  27/01/2015: UEAPME Board asks Juncker Commission to work on Small Business Act review

-  15/11/2012: SME Assembly: progress made is not enough, warns UEAPME

-  13/11/2012: Small Business Act: commitments are finally becoming actions, survey finds

-  05/10/2011: SBA implementation slowing down and far from being complete, survey finds

-  24/05/2011: Small Business Act: more efforts are needed at EU and national level, warn SMEs

-  13/04/2011: SBA implementation requires adequate funding now, warn SMEs

-  23/02/2011: SBA review a step forward but implementation is top priority, say SMEs

-  15/12/2009: Small Business Act: Commission’s report disappoints SMEs

-  02/12/2009: Small Business Act: a not so happy birthday, say SMEs

-  06/05/2009: Survey shows wide gap between SME policy actions and concrete effects

-  12/12/2008: Summit’s green light to recovery plan and SBA action plan pleases SMEs

-  02/12/2008: SBA: Competitiveness Council conclusions must be endorsed by Heads of State

-  03/11/2008: European SMEs should not pay the price of current economic crisis

-  03/11/2008: Die Europäische KMU dürfen nicht den Preis für die derzeitige Finanzkrise zahlen

-  03/11/2008: Les PME européennes ne doivent pas payer le prix de la crise économique

-  03/11/2008: Le PMI europee non devono pagare il prezzo dell’attuale crisi economica

-  30/10/2008: SMEs can lead Europe out of the crisis, says re-elected UEAPME President

-  16/09/2008: Small Business Act: SMEs put forward ideas on an inter-institutional agreement

-  18/07/2008: Small Business Act: Member States must step up to the plate, say SMEs

-  07/07/2008: Commission proposal on reduced VAT rates must now be put into practice

-  07/07/2008: Members States must make use of new General Block Exemption Regulation

-  25/06/2008: Small Business Act: “Think Small First” at last!

-  23/06/2008: Crafts and SMEs react positively to EC proposals for a Small Business Act

-  13/06/2008: Crafts and SMEs hand out to-do list to upcoming French Presidency

-  20/05/2008: State aid: notice on guarantees must be integrated in “General Block Exemption”

-  17/04/2008: Better regulation agenda must move from theory to practice

-  07/04/2008: Taxation rules a key barrier to cross-border trade for SMEs

-  14/03/2008: Spring Summit: time for action on energy policy and Lisbon goals

-  13/03/2008: Tripartite Social Summit: SMEs call for labour markets overhaul

-  06/02/2008: Small Business Act: beware of the paper tiger, warn SMEs

-  23/01/2008: Small Business Act last chance for EU to deliver before 2009 elections

-  17/12/2007: Small Business Act a litmus test for EU’s commitment to SMEs

News and events

- 18/06/2008: Administrative Council tackles SBA, access to finance

- 06/02/2008: UEAPME insists on a legally binding Small Business Act at EC public hearing

Other documents

-  26/02/2008: Letter from Secretary General Andrea Benassi to Competitiveness Council Ministers